Pal Joey [DVD] 
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Pal Joey (Frank Sinatra) is a womanizing nightclub singer who arrives in San Francisco with the dream of making it big. He toys with the affections of Linda (Kim Novak), a young innocent chorus girl, whilst a rich widow (Rita Hayworth) falls in love with him. She offers to finance his own nightclub if he marries her and cuts off all ties to Linda. Songs include 'My Funny Valentine' and a definitive version of 'The Lady is a Tramp'.
The eponymous Pal Joey, born in the pages of The New Yorker then translated into a hit Rodgers and Hart Broadway musical, had undergone quite a transformation by the time he hit the movies in 1957. By then he was a singer rather than a dancer, but more importantly he'd had his rough edges sweetly softened; the callous heel dreamed up by novelist John O'Hara was more of a naughty scamp in the film version. However, Pal Joey the film remains delightfully watchable for two very good reasons: a terrific song score and a surplus of glittering star power. Frank Sinatra, at the zenith of his cocky, world-on-a-string popularity, glides through the film with breezy nonchalance, romancing showgirl Kim Novak (Columbia Pictures' new sex symbol) and wealthy widow Rita Hayworth (Columbia Pictures' former sex symbol).
The film also benefits from location shooting in San Francisco, caught in the moonlight-and-supper-club glow of the late 1950s. Sinatra does beautifully with the Rodgers and Hart classics "I Didn't Know What Time it Was" and "I Could Write a Book", and his performance of "The Lady is a Tramp" (evocatively shot by director George Sidney) is flat-out genius. Sinatra's ease with hep-cat lingo nearly outdoes Bing Crosby at his best. If not one of Sinatra's very best movies, Pal Joey is nevertheless a classy vehicle that fits like a glove. --Robert Horton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the few Columbia musicals that creates some of its own magic rather than trying to copy the RKO and MGM formula, Sinatra is so perfect as John O'Hara's heel that it is now impossible to imagine Kelly in the role. Not all of the Rodgers and Hart's songs are well served - some, such as I Didn't Know What Time It Was, are all but thrown away - but the score is a strong one (The Lady Is A Tramp, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, If They Asked Me I Could Write A Book ) and the film is one of the few successful Broadway-to-screen transfers of its day. Great dog too.
The only real extra on the DVD is the original five-minute trailer, but it's a gem. Filmed on the film's set, with Sinatra introducing us to Joey's vocabulary with the aid of a blackboard and ruler, it's terrific fun and a genuine collector's item! The US limited edition (3000 copies) region-free Blu-ray from Twilight Time also includes a featurette, Backstage with Kim Novak, an isolated score track and a booklet as well as superior picture quality.
Based on a book and play by John O'Hara, it boasts some snappy dialogue and a fabulous Rodgers and Hart score, with songs like "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", "I Could Write a Book", "What do I Care for a Dame ?", "Plant You Now, Dig You Later", "Happy Hunting Horn" and "That Terrific Rainbow". Rita Hayworth does a sumptuous "Zip" (I love the way she uses her lavish Jean Louis gown in the number), and Kim Novak is absolutely stunning singing "My Funny Valentine". Novak was one of the loveliest and most underrated stars to ever grace the silver screen, and this was her second film with Sinatra, having done the dramatic "The Man with the Golden Arm" two years earlier.
The film only received some Oscar nominations (Art/Set Direction, Costume Design, Editing, Sound), but Sinatra did pick up a 1958 Golden Globe Best Actor/Musical-Comedy for his part as Joey, the womanizing, fast talking, con-man singer, who goes from town to town, leaving debts and broken hearts behind; Sinatra makes the most of the part, and one cannot imagine anyone else that could have played Joey to such perfection.
Terrific direction by George Sidney and choreography by Hermes Pan complement this trio of great stars and splendid music, with the backdrop of San Francisco and Harold Lipstein's cinematography.
Total running time is 109 minutes.
‘Pal Joey’ is a 1957 American musical film, loosely adapted from the musical play of the same name, and starring Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, and Kim Novak. Jo Ann Greer sang for Rita Hayworth, as she had done previously in ‘Affair in Trinidad’ and ‘Miss Sadie Thompson.’ Kim Novak's singing voice was dubbed by Trudy Erwin. The director is George Sidney and the choreographer is Hermes Pan.
Frank Sinatra stars as John O’Hara’s caddish crooner in this 1957 film version of the Book by John O'Hara, the music by Richard Rodgers and the lyrics by Lorenz Hart for the hit musical ‘Pal Joey.’ A fresh, very fresh arrival on the San Francisco nightclub scene, the amoral and ambitious Joey soon finds himself entangled with two “mice”: the rapacious stripper-turned-society dame Vera [Rita Hayworth] and the good-girl chorine Linda [Kim Novak]. Handsomely directed by George Sidney, the film features a double handful of Rodgers and Hart’s greatest tunes, including “Zip,” “My Funny Valentine,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” and “I Could Write a Book.”
"Some guys have a system with horses, and I got a system with dames. It's a snap. You treat a dame like a lady, and you treat a lady like a dame." Says Joey Evans [Frank Sinatra] on the subject of romance.
FILM FACT: Academy Awards® Nominated: Best Art Direction/Set Decoration for Walter Holscher, William Kiernan, Louis Diage. Nominated: Best Costume Design. Best Film Editing. Best Sound and Recording for John P. Livadary. Golden Globes® Awards Won: Best Actor, Musical or Comedy for Frank Sinatra. Nominated: Best Film, Musical or Comedy. Writers Guild of America Nominated: Best Written American Musical.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sinatra, great score, great dames. What's there not to like ?Published 10 months ago by paul michael
A soundtrack second to none, and not one but two 'mice' to enjoy watching as they wiggle around. And Sinatra at his most suave ... recommended.Published 15 months ago by Philip ANDREWS