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Pal Joey

Pal Joey DVD
Directed by George Sidney
Produced by Fred Kohlmar
Written by Dorothy Kingsley, screenplay from the play by John O'Hara
Starring Rita Hayworth
Frank Sinatra
Kim Novak
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lorenz Hart

Morris Stoloff(supervision)

Nelson Riddle
George Duning(arrangements)
Cinematography Harold Lipstein
Editing by Viola Lawrence
Jerome Thoms
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) October 25, 1957
Running time 109 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Pal Joey is a 1957 film, loosely adapted from the musical play of the same name; it stars Rita Hayworth (top billed), Frank Sinatra, and Kim Novak. Kim Novak's singing voice was dubbed by Trudy Erwin. The director is George Sidney and the choreographer is Hermes Pan. Considered by many critics as the definitive Frank Sinatra vehicle, Sinatra won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his role as Joey Evans.

Pal Joey is also one of Frank Sinatra's few post-From Here to Eternity movies in which he did not receive top-billing, Sinatra deciding himself to allow Rita Hayworth this honor stating, with regards to being billed "between" Hayworth and Novak, "That's a sandwich I don't mind being stuck in the middle of."

Along with being a strong box office success, Pal Joey also earned four Academy Award nominations and two Golden Globe nominations.

Contents

Characters

Plot summary

Linda English (Kim Novak)

The setting is San Francisco; Joey Evans is a second-rate singer, a heel known for his womanizing ways, but charming and funny. When Joey meets Linda English, a naive chorus girl, he has stirrings of real feelings. However, that does not stop him from romancing a wealthy, willful, and lonely widow Vera Simpson, in order to convince her to finance his dream, "Chez Joey", a night club of his own. Soon Joey is involved with Vera, each using the other for his/her own somewhat selfish purposes. But Joey's feelings for Linda are growing. Ultimately, Vera jealously demands that Joey fire Linda. When Joey refuses ("Nobody owns Joey but Joey"), Vera closes down Chez Joey. Linda visits Vera and agrees to quit in an attempt to keep the club open. Vera then agrees to open the club, and even offers to marry Joey, but Joey rejects Vera. As Joey is leaving, Linda runs after him, offering to go wherever he is headed. After half-hearted refusals, Joey gives in and they walk away together, united.

Notes: The happy ending of the film contrasts with that of the stage musical, where Joey is left alone at the end.

The transformation of Joey into a "nice guy" departed from the stage musical, where Joey's character was notable for being the anti-hero.

The film varies from the stage musical in several other key points: the setting was changed from Chicago to San Francisco, and the stage Joey was a dancer. In the film, Vera Simpson is a widow and a former burlesque stripper and thus sings the burlesque take-off song "Zip". The lyrics to Vera's song "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" were changed. Linda became a naive chorus girl instead of a naive stenographer. The plot of the film drops a blackmail attempt and two roles prominent on stage were changed: Melba (a reporter) was dropped and Gladys became a minor character.

Song list

Of the original 14 Rodgers and Hart songs, eight remained, but with two as instrumental background, and four songs were added from other shows. [1]

  1. Pal Joey: Main Title
  2. "That Terrific Rainbow" - chorus girls and Linda English
  3. "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" (introduced in the 1939 musical Too Many Girls) - Joey Evans
  4. "Do It the Hard Way" - orchestra and chorus girls
  5. "Great Big Town" - Joey Evans and chorus girls
  6. "There's a Small Hotel" (introduced in the 1936 musical On Your Toes) - Joey Evans
  7. "Zip" - Vera Simpson
  8. "I Could Write a Book" - Joey Evans and Linda English
  9. "The Lady Is a Tramp" (introduced in the 1937 musical Babes in Arms) - Joey Evans
  10. "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" - Vera Simpson
  11. "Plant You Now, Dig You Later" - orchestra
  12. "My Funny Valentine" (introduced in the 1937 musical Babes in Arms) - Linda English
  13. "You Mustn't Kick It Around" - orchestra
  14. Strip Number - "I Could Write a Book" -Linda Evans
  15. Dream Sequence and Finale: "What Do I Care for a Dame"/"Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered"/"I Could Write a Book" - Joey Evans

Critical reception and box office

Opening to positive reviews on October 25th 1957, Pal Joey was an instant success with critics and the general public alike. The Variety review summarized: "Pal Joey is a strong, funny entertainment. Dorothy Kingsley's screenplay, from John O'Hara's book, is skillful rewriting, with colorful characters and solid story built around the Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart songs. Total of 14 tunes are intertwined with the plot, 10 of them being reprised from the original. Others by the same team of cleffers are 'I Didn't Know What Time It Was', 'The Lady Is a Tramp', 'There's a Small Hotel' and 'Funny Valentine'."[2]

The New York Times commented, "This is largely Mr. Sinatra's show...he projects a distinctly bouncy likeable personality into an unusual role. And his rendition of the top tunes, notably 'The Lady Is a Tramp' and 'Small Hotel,' gives added lustre to these indestructible standards."[3]

With box office rentals of $4.7 million, Pal Joey was ranked by Variety as one of the ten highest earning films of 1957.

Awards and nominations

Academy Awards [4]

Golden Globes

  • Best Film, Musical or Comedy (nominated)
  • Best Actor, Musical or Comedy (won, Frank Sinatra)

Writers Guild of America

  • Best Written American Musical (nominated)

See also

Rodgers and Hart

References

  1. ^ Hollywood Musicals Year By Year, Green, Stanley, Revised and Updated, Schmidt, Elaine, 2nd Edition, 1999, ISBN 0634007653, p. 214.
  2. ^ [1] Variety review, January 1, 1957
  3. ^ Weiler, A.H."Pal Joey Back on Broadway; Sinatra Is Starred in Film of Hit Show", New York Times, October 28, 1957
  4. ^ "NY Times: Pal Joey". NY Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/37124/Pal-Joey/details. Retrieved 2008-12-23.  

External links








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