Friday, November 20, 2020

#2020PopCultureResolution - Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk 

Director: Michael Gordon

Length:  102 minutes

Cast: Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall

Release Date:  October 71959

Synopsis: A man and woman carry their feud over the telephone line they share into their real lives.

I have heard a lot about Pillow Talk thanks to reading a Rock Hudson biography earlier in the year. I was expecting a fun watch and I think it delivered.

I should probably start by talking about the one aspect of the movie that I did not like. Rock Hudon and Doris Day's characters do not like each other when we first meet them. They bicker thanks to the shared use of a phone line. Since they have never met in person before it is no surprise to anyone familiar with rom-coms that once they do meet they each find the other attractive and charming. Rick Hudson's character figures out who she is though and knowing she would not want to talk to him lies about who he is. He makes up a whole persona and it feels kind of icky that he is basically catfishing her. She wouldn't talk to him if she knew who he was and he lies to get around that. It taints what is otherwise a charming movie a little for me.

You spend most of the movie waiting for the lies being spun by Rock Hudson's character to be revealed and if that would make you anxious this is probably not the movie for you

The duo of Rock Hudson and Doris Day ooze charisma. They really work as a pair and it is easy to see why the studio put them together in a few films. They have chemistry that works for this type of movie. They both have an innocent quality that makes the (quite tame) innuendo seem endearing. Doris Day was known for being the 'good girl' and it is easy to see why she had that reputation while watching this movie.

The use of the split screen was cleverly done and enhanced the witty banter between the two leads. The bathtub scene is talked about for a reason and it works in large part due to the use of the split screen.

The movie is quite funny with both Hudson and Day providing performances that make the movie what it is. Also of note is Thelma Ritter's Alma who is the housekeeper to Doris Day's character. Her comedic timing is on full display and she is just as charming as the two leads. Overall it is light, fluffy, and kind of perfect for a rainy afternoon.

This movie taught me that I would not want to share a phone line with anyone. It seems like a nightmare (even if it might lead to a meet cute). It also may be a movie that shows its age a bit but is still worthy of a watch particularly if you are a fan of either of the main stars. It has made me curious enough to seek out more of Rock Hudson's movies.

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