Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Must-See Movie: Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk (1959)
One of the greatest romantic comedies of all time, this movie sparked the Doris Day/Rock Hudson/Tony Randall trio that would be followed by two other hit comedies.

Doris Day plays a single working woman named Jan Morrow who lives in a nice apartment in Manhattan. Her only problem is that she shares a partyline with a playboy-slash-songwriter Brad Allen, played by Rock Hudson. She often picks up her phone to make a call and hears Allen crooning the same love song to a different woman. "You are my inspiration...(fill in the name of any woman)."

Incensed after many attempts to notify him of his rudeness, Day goes to the phone company to ask for her own number. It is explained to her that if this was an emergency, she'd jump to the top of the list. Perhaps if she were to get pregnant she would get her own line sooner. Day replies that she is not married, so of course she can't just go and get pregnant! (I heart 1959!)

Day goes back to deal with Hudson herself, making an agreement that they each use a half hour of phone time. Hudson breaks the rule almost immediately, not caring if he offends the "frigid" other half of the partyline.

However, a chance encounter brings the two together, and when Hudson finds out what his nemesis looks like, he decides that the only way to get in good with her is to pretend to be Rex Stetson - a humble Texan tourist.

Smitten with the homespun pickup lines from this 6'5" gentleman ("You make me feel warm being around a pot-bellied stove on a frosty morning."), she is relieved that there are nice men out there who are not a cad like that Brad Allen.

How long can Brad keep up the act? And what is Jan's reaction when she finds out? Well, you'll have to watch to see, but let's just say she gets even in a very creative way.

This has always been my favorite Doris Day/Rock Hudson movie. The classic comedy and simple storyline have been copied many times, but nothing compares to the original. And you can't beat the supporting cast of Tony Randall and Thelma Ritter.

My favorite exchange in their quick-witted banter:
[Jan is trying to find a compromise with Brad.]
Jan: We're just going to have to live with each other...
[Jan pauses, waiting for a response]
Brad Allen: Well?
Jan: I was waiting for you to say some off-color remark.
Brad: Is that all you have on your mind?
Jan: Never mind my mind! You just stick to your half hour and I'll stick to mine!

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