Pillow Talk (1959, Michael Gordon)

From the director of… I’m not sure. The writers won an oscar for this, beating their own screenplay for Operation Petticoat as well as beloved classics North By Northwest (admittedly the writing isn’t the best thing about NxNW) and The 400 Blows and Wild Strawberries (disadvantage: foreign).

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Kinda surprising, because it’s just your standard gimmicky romantic comedy. I mean, we liked it and all, I’m just saying I wouldn’t have thought “best writing of the year.” Doris Day (in between her Hitchcock film and her Tashlin films) and Rock Hudson (a few years after Written on the Wind and Magnificent Obsession) share a phone line (because the phone company doesn’t have enough!) and hate each other. The problem is that she occasionally needs the phone for business, but he’s always chatting up some woman – always a different woman. Day, a serious businessperson with no need for a man in her life, resents him and makes rules and starts fights.

Katy said Doris Day isn’t pretty. Insanity!
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So Rock disguises his voice when he meets her in person and romances her as hard as he can as a practical joke, leading to lots of fun visual innuendo…

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And more, even saucier innuendo!

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She learns what he’s up to and takes revenge as only a professional interior decorator can – by redecorating his apartment. Ho! But of course they fall truly in love at the end.

I’d assumed Thelma Ritter would be my favorite actor in this movie, but that turned out to be Tony Randall. Maybe after Pickup On South Street I hold her to unrealistically high expectations… all she does here is drink and then act hungover, albeit hilariously. That was still enough to get her a fifth oscar nomination.
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Tony “Rock Hunter” Randall is a rich guy who’s always after Doris. He thinks he might end up with her there at the end, but he’s just her fallback guy while she works out her feelings for Rock. Poor Tony.
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