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A fun love story with great music and a review of what manufacturing life was like. Interesting to look back on that era. This DVD is difficult to find, and harder to request from the library - month long waits. If you see it grab it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
Doris Day is Magic - A Great Musical!
In 1957, Doris Day returned to Warner Brothers, a studio where she started in 1948, and one which she left after making 17 pictures in 7 years, to make the film version of the Broadway hit, ''The Pajama Game''. Patti Page, a top recording star, who had been signed by Warner Brothers, was the #1 pick to play Babe Williams, but negotiations fell through and Warners coaxed the now superstar, Doris Day, to return to their lot to star in the film. She was welcomed back in grand fashion and given sole star billing for the project. Practically the entire original stage cast was flown in, including the leading man, John Raitt, Carol Haney, Rita Shaw, Eddie Foy, Jr. and others, but not leading lady, movie star, Janis Paige. This is a glorious musical. It centers on the Sleep Tite Pajama Facory, whose workers are clammoring for a 7 1/2 cent pay raise while the management is fighting against it. A new superintendent (Raitt) is hired to side with the bosses and to clamp down an iron fist against the employees' efforts. Enter, the head of the grievance committee, Babe Williams (Doris Day), the beautiful, headstrung unionist, who will fight with everything she has to protect her fellow workers' interests. Sid Sorokin, the new super, is instantly attracted to Babe and she to him, but a relationship seems impossibe due to their professional differences. At a company picnic, they realize that love is stronger than 7 1/2, but they both stay committed to their separate causes. When a showdown between the union and management reaches olympic proportions, Babe and Sid split and take sides. Along the way, there is some wonderful music. The picture opens with ''The Pajama Game'' and ''Racing with the Clock'' with Busby Burkley-type cinematography resulting in a spectacular beginning. It is quickly followed by the delightful, ''I'm Not at All in Love'' sung with conviction to her accusing co-workers by Doris Day. When he can't get to first base with Babe, Sid sings the regretful ballad, ''Hey There'' (you with the stars in your eyes). Company bookkeeper, Gladys (Carol Haney), who is romantically involved with the plant's foreman, Hines (Eddie Foy, Jr.), is a standout with ''Hernando's Hideaway'', ''Steam Heat'' and ''Once a Year Day'' singing and dancing with Buzz Miller and Kenneth LeRoy, under Bob Fosse's keen direction. Eddie Foy, Jr. and Rita Shaw get to perform ''I'll Never be Jealous Again'' after Hines nearly kills Gladys in a fit of psychotic jealousy. Later, Doris and John sing ''Small Talk'' while she attempts to avoid his romantic overtures and another treat comes when they perform ''There Once was A Man'' which is a one-upmanship duet sung with hillbilly overtones and physical agility. Miss Day reprises the lovely ballad, ''Hey, There'' and reported sang it ''live'' as it was being filmed for she thought it was more of a scene than a musical number. The result: very poinant. At the end, with a mutually agreed compromise about to come, Day and her fellow workers perform ''Seven and a Half Cent'' at a rally to bring the company over to its side. Doris Day was in fabulous voice for this picture. How could Warners have ever let her get away? When she left WB, she headed straight for MGM where she made the dramatic musical, ''Love Me or Leave Me'' with James Cagney and went on to make film history with Rock Hudson in their series of comedies. ''Pajama Game'' is a fun musical and great entertainmnt for the entire family. It endures because Stanley Donen and George Abbott did a superb job in bringing it to the big screen and the terrific score produced songs that have become apart of the American musical library. Special mention must be made of actors Barbara Nichols, Thelma Pelish and Jack Straw for their able support. I don't know how Patti Page would have handled the part, but Doris Day did a glorious job and it is one of her great screen portrayals.
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Posted October 29, 2008
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