He’s a playboy and a playah. She’s a good girl, but a bit lonely.
They meet … and bicker … via IM, but end up meeting in real life. Only he doesn’t let on who he is, instead pretending to be an aw, shucks Texan type. The big city girl hard, for his old-fashioned charms, but he can’t keep up the charade forever.
Sounds plausible, right? Well, that story did get greenlit – 50-plus years ago.
The new Blu-ray release of the 1959 film “Pillow Talk” shows romantic comedies haven’t come a long way, baby. The genre still traffics in the same kind of miscommunications and hurried resolutions that are the hallmark of the modern rom-com.
But “Pillow Talk” had Doris Day and Rock Hudson, two big reasons to give it a fresh peek. The Blu-ray edition recaptures the fizzy fun on display, and while it’s not the most eye-popping high-def transfer, the new edition looks sharp and candy colored in all the appropriate ways. Just check out the film clips used in the Blu-ray extras to better appreciate the visual upgrade made for the new release.
And that precocious, Oscar-winning script gives the screen icons plenty to fuss and fret over before the final reel.
Day plays Jan Morrow, a beautiful interior designer who doesn’t have a beau. And that’s perfectly fine by her. She’d fit right in with Carrie Bradshaw and the “Sex and the City” gang, but she might need higher heels.
Enter Brad Allen (Hudson), a songwriter and playboy extraordinaire. The two meet via a party line – an ancient phone system in which several people share the same phone access. Brad hogs up their phone time by wooing a succession of ladies.
Jan wants nothing to do with a scoundrel like Brad, but a series of convoluted events bring them together.
“Pillow Talk” in many ways is superior to today’s typical rom-com – cue the faint praise alert.
The dialogue routinely crackles, and who could play the other man in Jan’s life better than Tony Randall?
The budding sexual revolution, capsulized by Jan’s insistence than she doesn’t need a man to be happy, is a time capsule moment, to be sure. But the duo shares a clean chemistry – something that can salvage even the most desperate rom-com past … or present.
The Blu-ray edition comes with a cheery, colorful digi-book with bios on the film’s key cast mates, script snippets and a helpful explanation of those “party lines” which play such a critical role in the story.
Leonard Matlin handles the introductory text, and the book features great advertising art from the film’s initial release. The Blu-ray extras include commentary from film historians Jeff Bond, Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman, “Back in Bed with Pillow Talk” plus a primer on “Chemistry 101” between Hudson and Day.
“It’s very clear that they like each other,” several film buffs declare, while another reminds us Time magazine compared the stars to “sleek and shiny Cadillacs.”
“Back in Bed with Pillow Talk” examines the film from a cultural perspective, while the author of “The Rough Guide to Chick Flicks” describes the film in ways most of today’s rom-coms will never hear.
“It was sexy without being dirty,” Samantha Cook says.