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 Posted:   Jun 9, 2010 - 11:30 PM   
 By:   philip*eric   (Member)

I watched this last night for the 1st time since probably the 60s ! and thought what an underrated gem it is -

First of all are the wonderful songs by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross - they also wrote DAMN YANKEES - their only two collaborations - almost every song is memorable-"I'm Not At All in Love ", "There Once Was a Man","Hey There" ,"(I Don't Want to Talk)Small Talk", ""Once A Year Day", "Hernando's Hideaway", the title tune-- this has to be one of the best scores of the 50s musicals- I had really forgotten how great these songs were

Then there is the cast lead by Doris Day + John Raitt. Both are in their prime - this is certainly one of Doris's best screen performances - even better than CALAMITY JANE which is hard to top. And she sings everything superbly - even an encore of Raitt's signature ballad , "Hey There"-- there is also a great outtake on the official WB DVD release - "The Man Who Invented Love" which was replaced in the released print by this reprise.

This was the only big screen musical the terrific Raitt ever did (he did play Frank Butler opposite Mary Martin in 1957's ANNIE GET YOUR GUN on tv - a kinescope is available- he is as good as Howard Keel)-- he does quite well considering he had done almost no prior film acting - there are a few moments when you wish he were more dynamic but overall he deserves a B+, And what a terrific voice - man oh man - he originated Billy Bigelow in CAROUSEL and I believe that he could have been better than Gordon MacRae, who I like, in the film version.

And most of the rest of this cast come directly from the original Broadway show(as did Raitt)- what a talented ensemble including Carol Haney, who does the showstopping "Steam Heat"- a Fosse styled dance number; Eddie Foy Jr who sings "I'll Never Be Jealous Again" with the latter day Marjorie Main, Reta Shaw: and as Poopsie , my favorite supporting blonde starlet, Barbara Nichols. And there is also one of the more attractive group of singers and dancers I can recall in a film musical doing especially good work in the large scale "Once a Year Day" and the title tune.

The script concerns the Sleeptite Pajama Factory and the proposed strike over the "7 1/2 cent " raise-- it has dated but it is still mainly fun(only the biz about Foy throwing knives at Haney in a jealous pique seems pretty untenable now)...

Too bad this apparently was not recorded in stereo - the only thing missing on WB restored print on the DVD-- from the only other thread on this film, I learned that it was never released in stereo on LP or CD although it might have had a stereo track in theaters..

Really if you have never seen this , take a look! I think you'll be pleasantly surprized - a perfect summer night movie .
I wish I had seen the B'way revival a few years ago with Kelli O'Hara and Harry Connick Jr. - I imagine that they were a great pairing too.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 30, 2013 - 9:22 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

I just thought that Id resurrect this thread from over three years ago in response to what Manderley had to say about the film.

Usually I always am in concurrence with my friend but I ll stand by this assessment. Yes there are a few moments when Raitt's stage training doesnt work as well on the silver screen but I think he accounts himself well. And I never sensed that Doris Day felt uncomfortable with him specifically. She may have felt a little discomfort because most of the cast had played it on Broadway and she was the main change.

 
 Posted:   Oct 31, 2013 - 9:49 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

pp: It's such a delightful movie and I'm glad to have the DVD as well as the soundtrack CD. But I do hate these fragmented discussions on the same subject spread over more than a single spot. But you started YOURS a lonnnnnnnnnnnnng time ago (almost 3 1/2 years ago)!!!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 31, 2013 - 10:59 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

pp: It's such a delightful movie and I'm glad to have the DVD as well as the soundtrack CD. But I do hate these fragmented discussions on the same subject spread over more than a single spot. But you started YOURS a lonnnnnnnnnnnnng time ago (almost 3 1/2 years ago)!!!

I was always disapponted that my original post received no response. And since I dont know how to direct people to this thread from the other one(using a URL), I just thought I would pull it up again. Sorry, Ron.

 
 Posted:   Nov 1, 2013 - 2:08 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

Other than it contains, for me, the worst choreographed number in any film musical "Once a Year Day" (which is a complete waste of great dance music), I love this movie, and always have. Even with a couple of tunes cut from the Broadway show, it never seems short on songs. DD is superb in it.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 1, 2013 - 4:24 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

Other than it contains, for me, the worst choreographed number in any film musical "Once a Year Day" (which is a complete waste of great dance music), I love this movie, and always have. Even with a couple of tunes cut from the Broadway show, it never seems short on songs. DD is superb in it.

Philly Son - Another PJ lover! Yay!

I guess Im going to have to rewatch the "Once A Year Day" number - I dont know a lot about choreography - but I did enjoy it last time I watched it - great song and attractive performers - I just remember alot of activity in a picnic/park setting.

 
 Posted:   Nov 1, 2013 - 9:18 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

Just now I was trying to find some online evidence of the old rumor I'd heard that Frank Loesser had "ghostwritten" a couple of songs in "The Pajama Game," to help out Adler & Ross, who were his proteges. In so doing, I found this neat article, which pretty much officially confirms the story:

http://www.mkstage.com/pajamagame/raitt%20remembers.htm

Loesser's two uncredited contributions:

There Once Was a Man
A New Town Is a Blue Town

Another bit of fun PJG trivia:

Richard Bissell, the author of the novel "Seven-and-a-Half-Cents" was privy to the backstage shenanigans during the original Broadway production, and gathered enough material to write another novel about it, which itself later became a Jule Styne/Comden & Green Broadway almost-musical (more of a play with songs): "Say, Darling."

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 1:16 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....Just now I was trying to find some online evidence of the old rumor I'd heard that Frank Loesser had "ghostwritten" a couple of songs in "The Pajama Game," to help out Adler & Ross, who were his proteges. In so doing, I found this neat article, which pretty much officially confirms the story:

http://www.mkstage.com/pajamagame/raitt%20remembers.htm

Loesser's two uncredited contributions:

There Once Was a Man
A New Town Is a Blue Town.....



I'd always heard this, but never knew what songs Loesser had written. Interesting.

It seems like it's time for Loesser to be properly credited.

I wonder who gets the royalties.

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 2:10 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Likely not Loesser. He did it as an act of generosity and got little or no credit. Not like Peter Allen, who added part of one line to the theme from "Arthur" ("caught between the moon and New York City") and got tons of royalties and even an Oscar for it!!! (The Academy felt the line was so important to the song that he had to be included among the lyricists.)

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 6:44 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

.....Just now I was trying to find some online evidence of the old rumor I'd heard that Frank Loesser had "ghostwritten" a couple of songs in "The Pajama Game," to help out Adler & Ross, who were his proteges. In so doing, I found this neat article, which pretty much officially confirms the story:

http://www.mkstage.com/pajamagame/raitt%20remembers.htm

Loesser's two uncredited contributions:

There Once Was a Man
A New Town Is a Blue Town.....



I'd always heard this, but never knew what songs Loesser had written. Interesting.

It seems like it's time for Loesser to be properly credited.

I wonder who gets the royalties.


Another reason I love the score - part of it is by Frank Loesser - a somewhat underrated composer.

Does DAMN YANKEES have songs written by other composers too?

 
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