Patti Page movies: Elmer Gantry, Dondi, Boys’ Night Out
Patti Page, whose rendition of “Tennessee Waltz” reportedly sold 10 million copies in 1951, died at Seacrest Village Retirement Communities in Encinitas, Calif., on New Year’s Day. Page was 85. (Photo: Patti Page.)
Though best known as a recording artist, Patti Page made a handful of movie appearances in the early ’60s. In 1960, the 33-year-old Page was seen in a supporting role as an Evangelist in Richard Brooks’ movie adaptation of (part of) Sinclair Lewis’ novel Elmer Gantry (1960). Starring Jean Simmons as an Aimee Semple McPherson clone, the critical and box office hit earned Burt Lancaster that year’s Best Actor Academy Award.
The following year, Page had the female lead opposite David Janssen in Albert Zugsmith’s Dondi, based on a popular comic strip. In the now all-but-forgotten B family comedy-drama, David Kory played the title role, acerbic gossip columnist Walter Winchell played himself, and Page got to sing "Meadow in the Sky."
Patti Page’s third and final feature-film appearance was in Michael Gordon’s 1962 comedy Boys’ Night Out, starring Kim Novak, James Garner, and Tony Randall, and in which Page performs the title song.
According to the IMDb, Patti Page was also featured in the 1954 short Autumn in Rome, directed by Gone with the Wind’s production designer William Cameron Menzies. That same year, Page was heard performing "Autumn in Rome" in the soundtrack of Vittorio De Sica’s English-language drama Indiscretions of an American Wife, starring Jennifer Jones and Montgomery Clift.
Patti Page on television
Patti Page was featured in several television series, including Appointment with Adventure; Bachelor Father; The Bob Hope Show; and Magic Mansion, playing herself in the 1966 episode "How Much is That Doggie in the Window."
Additionally, Page performed in countless television shows, including the 1965 Academy Awards ceremony, in which she sang "Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte" from the Bette Davis / Olivia de Havilland box office hit of the same name. That year, Page released an LP album named after the movie. (Al Martino, not Patti Page, sings "Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte" in the film’s soundtrack.)