Review: ‘The Pajama Game’

The inherent mobility and fluidity of Pajama Game as a stage property was such that this almost faithful transmutation into celluloid required little physical enhancement [of the Richard Adler-Jerry Ross 1954 musical]. But the filmmakers have not slighted the opportunities for size and scope when occasion warranted.

The inherent mobility and fluidity of Pajama Game as a stage property was such that this almost faithful transmutation into celluloid required little physical enhancement [of the Richard Adler-Jerry Ross 1954 musical]. But the filmmakers have not slighted the opportunities for size and scope when occasion warranted.

If the film version contains a shade more of social significance in the labor-engagement hassle, which was the springboard of the original Richard Bissell novel, 7-1/2 Cents, from which stems the romantic conflict between pajama factory superintendent John Raitt (who created the original stage role) and ‘grievance committee chairman’ Doris Day, it is a plus value because of the sturdy book.

Raitt is properly serious as the earnest factory executive and earnestly smitten with the blonde and beauteous Day. Day, always authoritative with a song, makes her chore even a shade more believable than Raitt. Carol Haney, recreating her soubret role opposite Eddie Foy Jr (also of the original stage cast), whams with ‘Steam Heat’, aided by Buzz Miller (stage original) and Kenneth LeRoy (substituting for Peter Gennaro of the Broadway cast).

The Pajama Game

Production

Warner. Director George Abbott, Stanley Donen; Producer George Abbott, Stanley Donen; Screenplay George Abbott, Richard Bissell; Camera Harry Stradling; Editor William Ziegler; Music Nelson Riddle, Buddy Bregman (arr.); Art Director Malcolm Bert

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1957. Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Doris Day John Raitt Carol Haney Eddie Foy Jr Reta Shaw Barbara Nichols

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