Classic of the Week: Pillow Talk (1959)


Pillow Talk is a 1959 romantic comedy film in CinemaScope directed by Michael Gordon and starring Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Tony Randall, Thelma Ritter and Nick Adams.

Jan Marrow (Day), an interior decorator and Brad Allen (Hudson), a womanizing composer and bachelor, whom share a telephone party line. When she files a complaint on Allen for using the phone line too often to pursue his ladies, he pretends to be a Texas Rancher, triggering the two to fall in love.

The two main characters feud over their shared telephone line before even meeting. When Brad sees Jan for the first time at a nightclub and learns about her, he becomes attracted to her and takes on a fake Texas Rancher persona. After successfully winning her over, they begin seeing each other often. Jan brags to Brad Allen on the phone, while he tricks Jan by insinuating  “Rex” is interested in more feminine things, indicating that Rex is homosexual.

When Jan’s client Jonathan Forbes finds out about Brad’s disguise, he forces Brad to leave New York City and go to Jonathan’s cabin to finish his new songs. Brad invites Jan to come with him and their affection grows until Jan finds a copy of “Rex’s” sheet music. She plays the song on the piano and recognizes Brad’s song. She challenges Brad, ignoring his explanations, returning to New York with Jonathan who had just arrived.

Brad falls in love with Jan, although she wants nothing to do with him anymore. Brad goes to Jan’s housekeeper Alma for help and she suggests that he hire Jan to decorate his apartment so they’ll be forced to be together. Jan still angry, decorates the apartment in the ugliest and tackiest decor she can find.

Brad furiously drags Jan out of her apartment in her pajamas to his apartment to explain what she had done. He tells her the changes he has made in playboy and bachelor lifestyle because he thought they were getting married. Jan smiles and as he About to leave in anger, she uses one of his lady killer switches to lock the door. She flips another switch and a player piano plays a country version of Brad’s song. As he turns around, they lock eyes, and romantically hold each other close.

This is a rather charming film, filled with laughter, some angry parts and some sadness. It is one that will at first make you angry, then sad, then especially warm your heart. It one that can be watched over and over for years to come. This more than just a romantic comedy, it is a masterpiece of cinema and truly a work of art. Doris Day and Rock Hudson are truly spectacular in this film and are so believable. Tony Randall is great as Jonathan Forbes as well as Nick Adams as Tony Walters.

Everything about this film is wonderful, from the story, to the acting, the scenery to the songs. There is nothing I can say bad about this film either, because there is never a dull moment. One of the greatest love stories in motion picture history, that never gets old and never ceases to make you believe in forgiveness and true love. This story starts out a bit rough but overall it is a truly lovely film that teenaged girls and women will both love and the perfect date night pick. 13+ 5/5


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