Starring: Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall
Director: Michael Gordon
Running Time: 102 mins
Pillow Talk is an American film about a man and a woman who share a telephone line and cannot stand each other, however he decides to allure her with his voice disguised.
This is a really fun film. Apart from the fact that it’s a bright, silly and funny romantic comedy, it’s got some great performances and a very well-written story, not to mention some good directing, that all make for a thoroughly entertaining and engaging watch throughout. It may fall short from time to time with some woefully out-of-place moments, but on the whole, Pillow Talk is a hugely fun movie.
And the main reason for that is definitely the performances. Rock Hudson and Doris Day work brilliantly on screen together, whether they’re at each other’s throats or indulging in a sweet romance, something that makes for some brilliant laughs along the way.
But they’re not just good as a duo, because the individual performances really stand out too. Day is hilarious as the overly uptight and highly-strung single woman, who unknowingly gets taken for a ride by the man she hates, whilst Hudson is ice cool from start to finish, making his somewhat morally dubious character someone you can love watching throughout.
And then there’s the supporting actors. Tony Randall really stands out in a hilarious, albeit bizarre secondary role as the man desperately pushing for Doris Day to marry him, whilst Thelma Ritter is as brilliant as ever as the maid, a role she always manages to make a lot more important and funny than you’d expect.
Along with the performances, the film’s brilliant screenplay plays a big part in making it such an entertaining watch. Apart from the fact that it’s full of fantastic humour that’ll easily have you smiling and laughing from start to finish, the best of the comedy comes from the way it carries out the story’s premise.
It’s fantastically funny to watch Rock Hudson work his moves on Doris Day and pull it off, the exact thing that she so detests and continues to chastise him for throughout. What’s more is that the screenplay allows for the supporting characters to make the entire situation even more muddled, increasing the chance that he’ll be found out, and making everything even more silly along the way.
Throughout the first two acts, the film is fast-paced, clever and massively entertaining. It does take a little bit of a dive in the final act, as the central situation begins to change and as such does the comedy, but even then, the chemistry of the lead two coupled with the very strong screenplay make Pillow Talk a huge amount of fun.
If there’s one glaring problem that I’d have with this film, is that it has a couple of painfully cheesy and out-of-place moments that really distract you from the situation at hand. Hearing the internal monologue of the characters is pretty frustrating to see, as it generally comes across through the performances anyway, but the worst part of all is the random musical breaks.
There are only about two or three, but the songs in this movie come from beyond out of nowhere, and really mess up the flow and atmosphere of the present moment. I’m sure Doris Day’s contract said she had to get a sing-song in there somewhere or other, and as much as I like her, the random songs here really didn’t work.
Overall, however, I really enjoyed Pillow Talk. It’s a massively funny, clever and joyful romantic comedy that features a whole host of brilliant performances and a fantastic screenplay. It’s not a perfect film, but it’ll easily have you smiling throughout, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.9.