Pillow Talk (film)

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Pillow Talk
Pillowtalk poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Michael Gordon
Produced by Ross Hunter
Martin Melcher
Written by Russell Rouse
Maurice Richlin
Stanley Shapiro
Clarence Greene
Starring Rock Hudson
Doris Day
Music by Frank De Vol
Studio Arwin Productions
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release dates
  • October 7, 1959 (1959-10-07)
Running time 98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $7 million (est. US/Canada rentals)[1]

Pillow Talk is a 1959 romantic comedy film directed by Michael Gordon. It features Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall, Thelma Ritter and Nick Adams. The film was written by Russell Rouse, Maurice Richlin, Stanley Shapiro and Clarence Greene.

The film won the Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay), and was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Doris Day), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Thelma Ritter), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color (Richard H. Riedel, Russell A. Gausman, Ruby R. Levitt) and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.[2]

This is the first of three movies in which Day, Hudson and Randall starred together, the other two being Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers.

Upon its release, Pillow Talk brought in a then staggering domestic box-office gross of $18,750,000 and gave Rock Hudson's career a comeback after the failure of A Farewell to Arms earlier that year.

In 2009, it was entered into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant and preserved.[3]

Synopsis[edit]

Jan Morrow (Doris Day) is a successful, content, self-reliant interior decorator who lives in New York City. She lives alone and claims to be quite happy, when questioned on that subject by her drunken housekeeper, Alma (Thelma Ritter). Due to the state of the telephone company's development, she has to use a party line, which she shares with Brad Allen (Rock Hudson), a talented, creative Broadway composer and playboy.

Jan and Brad, who have never met, develop a feud over the use of the party line, as Brad is constantly using the phone to chat with one young woman after another, singing to each of them an "original" love song supposedly written just for her, though he only changes the name or language he sings in. Jan and Brad bicker over the party line, with Brad suggesting that the single Jan is jealous of his popularity.

One of Jan's clients is millionaire Jonathan Forbes (Tony Randall), who repeatedly throws himself at her to no avail. Unknown to Jan, Jonathan is Brad's old college buddy and current Broadway benefactor.

One evening in a nightclub, Brad finally sees Jan dancing. Attracted to her, he fakes a Texan accent and invents a new persona: Rex Stetson, wealthy Texas rancher. He succeeds in wooing Jan, and the pair begin seeing each other regularly. Jan cannot resist bragging about new beau on the phone to Brad Allen, while Brad teases Jan by showing an interest in traditionally effeminate things thereby implying "Rex's" homosexuality.[4]

When Jonathan finds out what Brad has done, he forces Brad to leave New York City and go to Jonathan's cabin in Connecticut to complete his new songs. Brad uses the opportunity to secretly ask Jan to go away with him, and she does. Once there, romance is in the air until Jan stumbles upon a copy of Rex's sheet music. She plunks the melody on the nearby piano and recognizes Brad's song. She confronts Brad angrily and ignores his attempts at explanation, leaving with Jonathan who has arrived just in time to expose Rex as Brad and who takes her back to New York City.

Once Brad returns to New York, Jonathan is pleased to learn that the mighty oak of a playboy has finally fallen in love, while conversely Jan will have nothing to do with him for deceiving her. Not ready to give up, Brad turns to Jan's maid, Alma, for advice, who suggests he hire Jan to decorate his apartment so they will be forced to collaborate. Jan only concedes so that her employer will not lose the account. Little does he know her employer is also in on the scheme. Still quite angry however, Jan completely redoes Brad's apartment in the most gaudy, ghastly, hideous decor she can muster. Horrified by what he finds, Brad angrily storms into Jan's apartment and carries her in her pajamas through the street back to his apartment, where he asks her how it feels to return to the scene of the crime. In his frustration he tells her of all the changes he's made to end his bachelor lifestyle because he thought he was getting married. Her face lights up from his admission but he's so angry he attempts to leave. She quickly reaches for one of the tacky remote control switches he installed to accommodate his "purposes" which immediately locks the door. She flips the second switch and the player piano pounds out a honky-tonk version of Brad's standard love song. He turns around in defeat, their eyes meet, each smiles, and they lovingly embrace.

At the end of the film, Brad goes to tell Jonathan that he is going to be a father. During the end credits, 4 pillows appear on the screen — pink, blue, pink, and blue — signifying the children Brad and Jan have together.

Cast[edit]

Songs[edit]

Doris Day sings three songs in the film: "Pillow Talk" during the opening credits, "Roly Poly" in the piano bar with Hudson, and "Possess Me" on the drive up to Jonathan's cabin. Singer Perry Blackwell performs three songs in the piano bar: "I Need No Atmosphere", "Roly Poly" (in part), and "You Lied"—a song directed at Hudson's character, Brad.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "All Time Domestic Champs", Variety, 6 January 1960 p 34
  2. ^ "NY Times: Pillow Talk". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  3. ^ "25 new titles added to National Film Registry". Yahoo News (Yahoo). 2009-12-30. Retrieved 2009-12-30. [dead link]
  4. ^ Cohan, Steven (December 1997). "The Bachelor in the Bedroom". In Mellencamp, Patricia. Masked Men: Masculinity and the Movies in the Fifties. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. pp. 296–300. ISBN 978-0253332974. 

External links[edit]