Pal JoeyDirector: George Sidney
The John O'Hara/Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Broadway musical Pal Joey created quite a stir during its original theatrical run in 1940. Here we had a heel of a hero who sleeps with a wealthy older woman in order to realize his dream of owning his own nightclub, and who breaks the heart of the girl who truly loves him when she impedes his plans to get ahead. Blossom Time it wasn't. Due to the seamy nature of the plot and the double- and single-entendre song lyrics (especially the original words for "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," which you aren't likely to hear on most mainstream recordings of this tune), Pal Joey could not be faithfully filmed back in the 1940s. Even this 1957 version, made at a time when movie censorship was beginning to relax, was extensively sanitized for public consumption. Ambitious singer/dancer Joey (Frank Sinatra) is still something of a louse, but a redeemable one. The relationship between Joey and his older benefactress Vera Simpson (Rita Hayworth, who was actually a few years younger than Sinatra) is one of implication rather than overt statement. And Joey's true love, chorine Linda English (Kim Novak), is as pure as the driven snow, who vehemently expresses distaste at having to perform a striptease. The Rodgers and Hart songs ("I Could Write a Book" the aforementioned "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered") which seemed so cynical and ironic back in 1940, are given the typically lush, luxurious Hollywood treatment (many of the tunes, notably "There's a Small Hotel," were borrowed from other Rodgers and Hart shows, a not uncommon practice of the time). Pal Joey is nice to look at and consummately performed, but don't expect the bite of the original play, or the John O'Hara short stories which preceded them.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Sony Pictures
Cast & Crew
|Arthur S. Black||Asst. Director|
|Louis Diage||Set Decoration/Design|
|George Duning||Score Composer|
|Walter Holscher||Art Director|
|William Kiernan||Set Decoration/Design|
|John P. Livadary||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Jean Louis||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Nelson Riddle||Score Composer|
|Morris W. Stoloff||Musical Direction/Supervision|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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THIS IS ABSOLUTELY AN ESCAPIST MOVIE! THE PLOT IS 'OK', BASED ON AN O'HARA BOOK, I BELIEVE. FRANK SINATRA IS AT HIS ABSOLUTE 'RAT PACK' BEST. KIM NOVAK IS QUITE ALLURING AND JUST A BIT SEXY. RITA HAYWORTH BLOWS ME AWAY. SHE IS STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL AND A PRETTY GOOD ACTOR. SAN FRANCISCO HAS NEVER LOOKED BETTER. THE TRUE STAR OF THIS FILM, HOVEVER, IS THE SOUNDTRACK. EITHER THE COLE PORTER SONGS, OR JUST THE BACKGROUND MUSIC, IT'S JAZZY, SWINGY AND A DELIGHT TO HEAR.
This is a classic old-time flick. Not much of a plot but an all-star cast with wonderful Rodgers & Hart music. Just a fun, feel-good movie to enjoy.
The best of the era depicting the women/ song/ booze and more women theme.. Sinatra's treatment of the Rodgers and Hart songs are the best...Nelson Riddle's arrangements and overture are top shelf..and the story is amusing by 2005 standards. Has the feel of San Francisco in the 50's and early 60's...scenery is something you wouldn't want to miss..