I think it was the American pianist, humorist and professional-drunk Oscar Levant who once quipped that he knew Doris Day before she was a virgin.
In the first two films she made with Rock Hudson, Doris was the American career-woman/virgin personified. Not a prude, but a girl who just had no time for sex, as she worked in what was, in those days, undeniably a Man's World. In their third and final movie Doris had lost her virginity, but by then the times they were a'changin'.
There is, between Doris and Rock on screen, the most wonderful light comic touch. There seems to be an intuitive understanding of how each should play up to the other, a magical chemistry which came from them, not from the director. It's clear they really did love each other very much - their affection shines through every scene.
And that chemistry extends to and envelops their permanent acting partner, the light and blithe Tony Randall, who was the consummate comic foil in all their movies. This Doris Day Collection really should have been called The Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Tony Randall Collection - the three are rightly inseparable.
The basic premise of Pillow Talk is something hard to comprehend nowadays. But back 40 years ago, there were in many areas not enough phone lines to go around. Different houses and apartments had to share the same phone lines. And if the call was for you, you just had to hope the people next door would hang up and not listen in.
There's always a party-line pooper, and Rock plays the ultimate pooper, Brad Allen, a songwriter who uses his phone endlessly to woo a seemingly unrelenting chain of desirable young women. Doris, who relies on the phone for her business as a successful interior designer, just can't get him to hang up. She does though succeed in getting him MAD.
It is amazing how much wit, charm, sheer zestful fun and enchantment can be packed into a single movie. This is a five-star movie which is as fresh today as in its natal year of 1959. We've just had proof of that, in the clever and affectionate homage movie Down with Love, in which Renee Zellweger reprises the Doris Day character and Ewan McGregor puts his own spin on Rock's screen personality. And how wonderful, in Down with Love, to see Tony Randall still in action, in a perfectly presented cameo role.
I guess I've screened Pillow Talk half a dozen times over the past few years - it's one of those movies which grows with each viewing; where familiarity breeds love.
And there's an amazing documentary quality to this movie as well. Was this really how Americans lived back in the 1950s? Were their kitchens really as ultra-modern as this? Two-door refrigerators, huge ovens, Modernist designs, while we were still waiting for the ice-man to arrive to put a new block in the ice-box. Well, maybe things weren't quite that primitive here by then, but they sure weren't like the deluxe world shown in Pillow Talk. No wonder Hollywood was called 'The Dream Factory'!
The print is acceptable - there are some flecks and very evident film-grain, but the colours are strong and well defined, without over-saturation.
It is a good anamorphic transfer, and the overall quality puts the Region 1 non-anamorphic transfer to shame. The Region 1 version gives us washed-out colours and generally aged appearance; this local release, while not perfect, goes a long way towards giving us the presentation this great movie deserves.