This was a film version of the popular Broadway Show and co-starred John Raitt and most of the original cast. Considered one of the best transfers of Broadway to film, the soundtrack album reached the Top Ten. it is interesting to note that Doris replaced the Broadway Star, Janis Paige, who had starred with Miss Day in her very first movie and who also appeared with her in "Please Don't Eat the Daisies". The cast delighted in how well Doris adapted to the Broadway role, and the fact that Doris replaced her in the film did not leave Miss Paige with any ill feelings. They remained friends.
The plot of the show revolves around employees of the Sleeptite Pajama Factory who are looking for a whopping seven-and-a-half cent an hour increase, and they won't take no for an answer. Babe Williams (Doris) is their feisty employee representative, but she may have found her match in shop superintendent Sid Sorokin (John Raitt). When the two get together they wind up discussing a whole lot more than job actions!
Sid (John Raitt) has just been hired as superintendent of the Sleeptite Pajama Factory in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He soon falls for Babe (Doris Day), a worker in the factory and member of the employee union's leadership. At the company picnic they become a couple, but Babe worries that their roles in management and labor will drive them apart. She is correct. The union is pushing for a raise of seven-and-one-half cents per hour to bring them in line with the industry standard, but the factory's manager is giving them a runaround. In retaliation, the workers pull a slow-down and deliberately foul up the pajamas, but when Babe actually sabotages some machinery, Sid fires her.
Meanwhile, Sid has been wondering what secrets the manager is hiding in his locked account book. To that end, he takes Gladys (Carol Haney), the boss' assistant, on a date to the local hot spot, "Hernando's Hideaway," despite her insanely jealous boyfriend 'Hine-sie' (Eddie Foy, Jr.). He gets Gladys drunk, and in this state, she lends him the key to the locked book. Returning to the factory, Sid discovers that the manager reported the raise as having been instituted months ago. He has been pocketing the difference himself. Sid threatens to send the book to the board of directors if the raise isn't paid immediately.
At the union meeting that evening, the manager agrees to the raise. When Babe realizes that it was Sid who engineered the raise and that he has only been attempting to avoid labor strife, she returns to him. And thus everyone lives happily ever after.
The plot sounds fairly simple, but it is a remarkably good film and lots of fun to watch.
This isn't my favorite movie. I like certain parts of it and some of the music.
This is also one CD with all the songs I don't have.
I like Doris singing and her clothes she wears in this movie but certainly not my favorite.
I'm sure Mike will tell you different...he loves it.
There is a big difference. You are not a true fan of Broadway. I grew up with it. So on that subject we differ. Seldom is a movie of a Broadway show as good as the original. In this case, it is better.
I suspect you don't like it as much because, in essence, it is NOT a Doris Day movie as much as it is a Broadway Show which happens to star Doris in one of the leads.
At the same time, I thought she never looked better, sang better or acted better than she did in this movie. THERE ONCE WAS A MAN and NOT AT ALL IN LOVE are two of the best songs Doris has ever sung, in any medium, and her version of HEY THERE should make you cry.
So...Carol..you are right. I just told you differently. LOL
I kind of have to agree with you both, It is true it is not a favorite of mine not even in the top 10 of my favorite movies by Doris. And I have only watched it twice, compared to her other movies I have watched some so many times I can tell you everyone's lines before they speak them.
But Mike I too thought the music was excellent and sometimes just rewind the tape to just here the songs again. But maybe I just didn't like the story form behind the movie, kind of dull and uninteresting. All just centered around getting the workers 7 1/2 cent raised. Who can get that excited about watching a movie about that? But all in all it had our girl as the star and like always she saved the movie and made it worth watching.
Come on you guys... it's a workplace love story! The more I watch it, more I like and appreciate it. I thought the kitchen scenes were incredible acting - when she is fixing coffee, and they are talking about the difficulties of their relationship - so smooth the two of them. Mike, I'd argue those two songs are excellent, but not her best. Maybe in the Broadway belting category?
I do love the song "Hey There" and I love Doris' singing it..it did make me tear up.
I know how much you love Broadway and I'm not sure that's the reason I don't care for this one.
It wouldn't be in my top 10 either but I've watched it several times..I think one of my favorite scenes is "STEAM HEAT".
I can't pin point exactly why I don't care for it except it seems like there's so much going on with
the cast and so busy.
Sorry guys I will have to agree with Carol on this one, just kind of glad Doris didn't get into the Broadway plays, and did her acting on the screen. I too have seen a few Broadway plays and they are Ok for a night out on the town, but still not as entertaining like a real good movie with a good story line that you would want to see over and over again. Nick watching the video of The Man Who Invented Love is kind of sad. And we all know Doris never seem to find her one true love in real life unless it was him. ♥
This was so cute in animation, but it wouldn't post this time moving.
I didn’t realize I was gonna have THIS MUCH to say about this film, nevertheless here it is. I hope it is coherent after you read it. Keep in mind I've been working for HOURS on this.
As usual, I’m with you MIKE! I LOVE this movie! It’s in or around my Top 10 favorite Doris films (I think I should do a list, BUT that would take some time AND the list is almost always moving around).
I think the reason EVERYONE ELSE doesn’t like it as much has to do with there not being enough Doris in it for them. I can agree with that to a point, but this musical (like MIKE said) is very much an ensemble piece. I do remember from Doris’ memoirs that she wanted to be part of the ensemble that had been together for 1+ years beforehand and I think she does the best she can in that respect. Though Babe and Sid are the main characters, the other characters are allowed to have their moment...which suits the piece well especially for character actress like Barbara Nichols as Poopsie and Reta Shaw as Mabel (I'd only seen her play cooks in “Mary Poppins“ and “Pollyanna” previously). Reta does the soft shoe w/ Eddie Foy, Jr. in the “I’ll Never Be Jealous Again” number.
Jack Straw is very good as the Union President. I'm sure part of the reason I feel that way is if I were cast in this, traditionally I would only be cast as Mae (same body type) as he would be my love interest. But also he is soooooo enthusiastic about the 7 1/2 cent raise. So glad the Union gets it. Nice Red Pedal Pushers Doris! "Picture it...10 years!"
Also Carol Haney is fabulous and I TOTALLY get why she was awarded the Tony for this on Broadway. She is a bundle of comedic, dancing energy and “Steam Heat” is a great example of this. “Steam Heat” is the most Fosse-like of all the dancing which probably why it is done by choreographers/dancers over and over and it is often THE piece picked to represent “The Pajama Game” as it was for the tribute to Bob Fosse in “Fosse” on Bway. Besides this and “Once a Year Day”, would you know that Fosse choreographed this? I wouldn’t have. That being said, the dancing is perfect for this and compliments the colorful costumes and realistic sets well. I really wondering what Doris thought of working with Fosse. I don’t recall her mentioning anything about Fosse in her book.
I REALLY wonder how they timed “Fernando’s Hideaway” (O la!) with all those matches (did they do that on Broadway?). My only real complaint about the film is the Black boy holding matches when Babe arrives at the club. He seems invisible. I didn’t even notice him until after several viewings of this film. I know this is a reflection of the times they were in, but it still bothers me.
On a lighter note: MY GRANDMOTHER worked for over 40 years at Shadowline (a women’s intimate apparel brand) and I imagine that she worked in a workroom like Sleeptite’s when she first started back before this film takes place. (The work space I saw when she retired was bright and looked like something outta the ‘80s, but sadly they no longer operate outta where she worked). Anyways, I imagine my grandma, being the type of person that she is, with a smock like Babe Williams giving orders. She might have jammed the machine to make a point too, but I dunno about the "slow down" thing, though it's very effective in the film.
This leads me to John Raitt. I know there was this silly thing about either the male or female lead (NOT both) from the Broadway play could be in the film (I guess b/c Jack Warner felt that an established Hollywood star was needed to ensure a hit…and b/c he’s stingy). Since Doris said yes first, that left Janis Paige (the lead from Broadway) out. As for Paige, based solely on the Bway soundtrack, I’m thrilled Doris chose to do it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Janis Paige but hearing her sing the songs from “The Pajama Game” on the Broadway soundtrack is disappointing, probably b/c I expect SOOOOO MUCH BETTER from Paige. She didn’t do so bad after losing out on “The Pajama Game” film, though. The “Stereophonic Sound” number with Fred Astaire in “Silk Stockings” is a mind-blowing knockout!
Even John Raitt isn’t as good in the Broadway version as he is in this film. I assume that either someone working with them on the Broadway version wasn’t making them step it up and/or Raitt stepped it up b/c he was working on a film with Doris Day. I wish his acting at times was more cinematic and less Broadway. Either way, I’m glad that he did step it up and was worthy of his coveted spot in the film. I don’t know if I would have pictured Raitt and Day together had I not seen this film. However, their on-screen chemistry is HOT! I love their scenes together, esp. when they are off alone. :P like the kissing scene at the pinic and the “Small Talk” scene in the kitchen. Babe: “I’m Cookin’.” Sid: “You sure are!”
Doris is so BRAVE to do “Hey There” LIVE on film for a major film. You can tell b/c it isn’t always on key, but who cares. I think, like her, that is suited the scene/her character better. I like John Raitt’s version, but not nearly as much as Doris’. I’ve cried more than once watching it, too, as it’s so touching and from the heart. I admire her courage in doing it this way.
BUT, my FAVORITE SCENE in the film BY FAR has to be “There Once was a (Wo)Man”! Wow, what a number!!! Though this is not what you usually think of when you see Fosse, choreography, it’s dead on for this piece. They are all over the Front Yard, porch and in the car. Tootin’ that Horn Doris! Hehe It is so special it REALLY makes me wonder why I hadn’t heard about this number before. Love the Yeps in the song. Cowboy/girl style. I put this DVD in sometimes just to watch THIS SCENE. I saw an interview where John Raitt said he broke Doris’ rib first day of rehearsal. I think it was a combo of excitement/nerves over working with Doris and a need to impress. (Doris is always breaking bones, esp ribs isn’t she?)
I know this was posted before, but it's worthy of review in my eyes:
Overall, I think the film is great. A more realistic (thank you NICK for reiterating that), everyday plot with a Broadway color palette. Well done in my opinion.
I don't have many pictures to post as almost all I had/wanted to share have been wonderfully posted by EVERYONE ELSE. So, I posted all the videos that related to what I wanted to say about this film. I was wanting to post the trailer to show the hearts covered pajamas her and John Raitt where at the end, so it would show where Doris lifts her Pajama shirt tail to reveal red panties. You can see the red panties at the end during the dance toward the end credits, but not like that. *blushes*
Doris, your freckles are showing! Yay for Natural Beauty!
*sings* “But for me e e e eeeeeeeeeeeee E, I love you MORE!!!”
"I think Doris is a very sexy lady who doesn't know how sexy she is. That's the integral part of her charm. Beautiful Doris with that fantastic body, all sweetness and charm up front, and that turns people on, and I don't think she could have had the success she's had if she didn't have this sexy whirlpool frothing around underneath her All-American-girl exterior."
"...she was the Fred Astaire of comedy."
"Making a movie with Doris was a piece of cake---a sexy ride on her coattails all the way.
Hey, I liked "Pajama Game." I think I said previously, that the more you watch it, you more you appreciate it. I think this is the only movie where Doris looks directly into the camera, via reflection in the mirror while singing (the "Hey There" scene.) It is quite powerful seeing Doris singing the song directly to you through the looking-glass. Check it out next time. It's special. And she doesn't look happy!
"Steam Heat" did Michael Jackson steal from this scene? Sure looks like it with the white socks and black shoes... and some of the moves....
A agree about "There Once Was A Man" absolutely the best choreography and singing. I thought John Raitt was perfect too! And they were so smooooooth together.
You're a gooder writer than you thinketh Hollywood. You should have no problem writing your own dazzling introductions, but copying and pasting works too. The introductions/synopses are not as important to me as hearing people's thoughts about the movies. I suppose an introduction could have both.
I had freckles too. Kisses from the sun... I hated them, but they eventually faded into one big freckle... me!