Last week I featured the movie Down With Love, a tribute to the classic Doris Day-Rock Hudson romantic comedies of the late 1950s-early ’60s. But the truth is, there’s no substitute for the original, so today I thought we’d take a look at the fun sets from Pillow Talk. Nearly 50 years ago, “Pillow Talk” won the Academy Award for Original Screenplay and was received several nominations, including Best Actress in a Leading Role (Doris Day), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Thelma Ritter), and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration.
Jan Morrow (Doris Day) has a wonderful life–a beautiful apartment and a successful career as an interior designer. There’s just one little hitch. She has a party line that she has to share with a playboy named Brad Allen (Rock Hudson) who is always on the phone with one of his many devoted women. Whenever she picks the phone up, he’s likely to be singing to one of them (“You’re my inspiration, ________.” Insert name here.)
Well, Jan gets fed up. She reports him to the phone company, but they send a young woman over to look into the matter who is so charmed by Brad that she takes his side.
The real fun starts when Brad sees Jan in a nightclub and decides to teach her a lesson. He puts on a phony baloney Texas accent, calls himself Rex, and does everything he can to win her over. Before you can say “meet cute,” he falls for Jan for real and has to keep up the act so she won’t find out the truth!
Take a look at these fabulous sets–including the hilarious “revenge makeover” Jan gives Brad’s apartment:
Jan’s apartment with a view of New York City:
Thelma Ritter played her (always hung-over) housekeeper Alma:
Her bathroom (it looks like she has a monogram on her shower curtain and towels):
They had a little too much fun with the split-screen scenes like this one, in which both Jan and Brad are chatting on the phone while taking baths:
I would love to have her study with those views and the balcony off it!
Telling Alma that she has finally met a good man–a gentleman who knows how to treat a lady–and his name is Rex:
Brad’s Bachelor Pad:
Tony Randall played Brad’s best friend. He is in love with Jan himself and has been begging her to marry him to no avail:
In this shot you can see that the living room walls only go so high and are curved. I’d love to see what was behind there!
At Jonathan’s Country House in Connecticut:
When Jonathan (Tony Randall) discovers that Brad has been after Jan, the girl he himself has been wooing, he’s furious. He threatens to tell Jan the truth if Brad doesn’t get out of town right away. He gives Brad the keys to his country house in Connecticut. Brad says, “Sure!” And then he takes Jan along with him for a romantic weekend:
Jan finds some sheet music in Brad’s coat pocket and plays it, only to recognize the tune. “You are my inspiration, ___________.” She realizes she’s been had–Rex is really Brad. He’s busted. She grabs her things and leaves before he even has a chance to set his load of firewood down.
Brad’s Apartment – After Jan Gives It a “Makeover:”
One of the best acts of revenge in movie history, in my opinion. Check out that moose on the wall. And Jan took away his Baby Grand piano, replacing it with a pink player piano that plays–you guessed it–“You’re my inspiration.”
Note the “Home Sweet Home” sampler over his fireplace:
Brad kicks the door in to Jan’s apartment and finds her in bed (she’s hiding under the covers). She refuses to see him, but he’s not taking no for an answer:
He scoops her up and carries her, pajamas, bare feet, electric blanket and all to his apartment. One woman on the street says, “They’ll never believe this back in Wichita Falls.”
This is the first of three comedies starring Day, Hudson and Randall together. Pillow Talk was followed by Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers.
I took these pictures while watching the movie. It’s full of great lines, like when Jan tells Brad, “You know, not every man ends every sentence with a proposition!”
If you missed last week’s post about Down With Love, the 2003 Renee Zellweger-Ewan MacGregor tribute to Doris Day-Rock Hudson movies like this, check it out. It’s fun to compare the sets from the two.