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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prime Sinatra
This film is worth watching over and over again, if only to see Sinatra's rendition of "The Lady is a Tramp", which he sings with riveting style and musical finesse.
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...
Published on 7 Jan 2005 by Alejandra Vernon

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "She gets too hungry for dinner at eight..."
Joey Evans (Frank Sinatra) is a two-bit night club singer, womanizer, and cad. He lands in a San Francisco saloon and starts romancing a wealthy older woman (Rita Hayworth) and sweet chorus girl (Kim Novak).

When I saw this movie in 1957 I fell head over heels for Frank and the sophisticated night club scene, but now Frank's Joey seems like a heartless sleaze,...
Published on 1 July 2011 by Kona


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "She gets too hungry for dinner at eight...", 1 July 2011
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Pal Joey [DVD] (DVD)
Joey Evans (Frank Sinatra) is a two-bit night club singer, womanizer, and cad. He lands in a San Francisco saloon and starts romancing a wealthy older woman (Rita Hayworth) and sweet chorus girl (Kim Novak).

When I saw this movie in 1957 I fell head over heels for Frank and the sophisticated night club scene, but now Frank's Joey seems like a heartless sleaze, the clubs are cheap, and the movie is hopelessly dated. It was made at the height of Frank's ring-a-ding-ding movie popularity, though, and he still charms despite playing a mean-spirited and selfish loser who is outweighed by both of his co-stars.Poor Rita looks drab and tired, a far cry from her earlier glory days. Kim is lovely (without those thick eyebrows from "Vertigo"), but her singing voice is a disaster and she isn't much of a dancer. A beatnik-style dance featuring both ladies is just embarrassing.

On the plus side, the songs are terrific. The show is filled with memorable Rodgers and Hart tunes such as "The Lady is a Tramp," "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," "I Could Write a Book," "There's a Small Hotel," and "My Funny Valentine."

The movie is glossy and pretty with lavish gowns and furs and picturesque San Francisco as a location, but is definitely a product of its time. What was once ultra-cool and sophisticated now seems tawdry and pathetic. Good songs, though.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prime Sinatra, 7 Jan 2005
This review is from: Pal Joey [DVD] (DVD)
This film is worth watching over and over again, if only to see Sinatra's rendition of "The Lady is a Tramp", which he sings with riveting style and musical finesse.
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wowweewowwow!, 16 May 2011
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pal Joey [DVD] (DVD)
Despite its Broadway success, Pal Joey took his time reaching the screen. Gene Kelly came to fame in the title role in the original Broadway production and was the logical first choice for the screen version, but when MGM would not lend him out the project sat on the backburner so long that his intended co-star Rita Hayworth swapped female roles to play the older woman who bankrolls Joey's club - on her terms - by the time the film finally reached the screen in 1957.

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.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essence of Sinatra, 4 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Pal Joey [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Joey is a womanising night club entertainer, picking up work where he can find it, conning his friends out of money but getting away with it because he still has a certain cheeky charm which is hard to resist. (Ask the showgirls in the club!). Sinatra gives the character life, partly because the night-club, hard drinking, atmosphere is so in tune with his own private life. The supporting stars, Hayworth and Novak, both looking their best, are credible characters and Hayworth's number "Zip" is a knockout, proving she'd lost none of her dancing ability. The rest of the cast fill out the story beautifully, particularly the little dog! But the film is Sinatra's and his performances of the wonderful Rogers and Hart songs could not be bettered. Great entertainment, great music and a supreme artist at the top of his game. They certainly can't make them like that any more.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ring a ding ding, Sinatra is Pal Joey, 29 Nov 2000
This review is from: Pal Joey [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The genius of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart is amplified in this spellbinding musical.After this role, Sinatra became Pal Joey with his trademark hat,suits and mac.With the best nightclub scene ever laid down on celluloid, Sinatra serenades Hayworth with The Lady is a Tramp, whilst Kim Novak is left to muse over her "Funny Valentine" as she attempts a striptease. The plot? Boy sings in club, scores with older woman, sees sense and goes back to young woman has been done before and since, but rarely with this panache, and never with songs like these: zip, bewitched, bothered, and bewildered and I could write a book all make this film a five star experience. Ring-A-Ding- Ding indeed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars PAL JOEY [1957] [Limited Edition] [Blu-ray] [US Import], 1 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Pal Joey (1957) [Blu-ray] (DVD)
PAL JOEY [1957] [Limited Edition] [Blu-ray] [US Import] ‘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." — Joey Evans [Frank Sinatra] on the subject of romance.

FILM FACT: Frank Sinatra won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his role as the wise-cracking, hard-bitten Joey Evans. ‘Pal Joey’ also earned four Academy Award nominations and two Golden Globe nominations.

Cast: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Rita Hayworth, Barbara Nichols, Bobby Sherwood, Judy Dan (uncredited), Hank Henry, Elizabeth Patterson, Franklyn Farnum, Bess Flowers, Pierre Watkin, Leon Alton, Isabel Analla, Robert Anderson, Maurice Argent, Tol Avery, Rita Barrett, Barrie Chase, Jean Corbett, Giselle D'Arc, Ilsa Ostroffsky, Edith Powell, Hermes Pan, 'Snub' Pollard, Frank Wilcox and Frank Wilimarth

Director: George Sidney

Screenplay: Dorothy Kingsley

Composers: Richard Rogers, Lorenz Hart, Nelson Riddle, Morris Stoloff (supervision) and George Duning (arrangements)

Cinematography: Harold Lipstein

Resolution: 1080p

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Isolated Music: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Mono

Subtitles: English SDH

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Region: All Regions

Running Time: 111 minutes

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Exclusive Presentation: Twilight Time

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review – Seventeen years after its premiere on Broadway in 1940, ‘Pal Joey’ [1957] finally made its way to the silver screen after numerous attempts by Columbia studio boss Harry Cohn to cast and produce it. Along the way, the central character, Joey Evans, evolved from an irredeemable, womanizing heel that preys on chorus girls to a likable nightclub crooner torn between his love for a struggling singer and a chance to further his career with a rich, predatory club owner. The stage musical starred Gene Kelly and was based on a series of short stories by author John O'Hara.

‘Pal Joey’ initially sprang to life as a series of New Yorker short stories by John O'Hara, which were then stitched together as a novel, one which consisted entirely of letters supposedly written by Joey to his friend Ted. Joey was a down on his luck nightclub entertainer who had a somewhat cracked moral compass, but who was a likable guy nonetheless. O'Hara himself brought the material to Rodgers and Hart and suggested a musical adaptation, offering to write the book (libretto) himself. The musical version saw Joey (played in the original Broadway version by a newcomer named Gene Kelly) on the make with a wealthy socialite, one he feels can set him up in business with his own nightclub, while he simultaneously woos a more innocent girl. Joey is a cad, a user who's constantly scheming to latch on to that next rung on the ladder of success, and as such he bears a certain similarity to another anti-hero whose story was musicalized some two decades later.

This is a colourful and brash musical entertainment, lifted miles above it’s kind of turgid elements due to the star power of its lead trio, as well as some knock your socks off arrangements by Sinatra's leading collaborator of that time, Nelson Riddle. Even though Sinatra, Novak and Hayworth are all immensely winning in their roles, the music here is undoubtedly one of the chief allures of this film, and Riddle's inventive reimagining of these Rodgers and Hart classics are elegant showpieces not just for Sinatra's mature vocalizing, but for the art of orchestration itself (actual orchestration duties fell to Arthur Morton). (Neither Hayworth nor Novak did their own singing, not to state the obvious.) This may not be the "real" Pal Joey in any sense of the word, but it still remains one of Sinatra's best screen outings. Sinatra certainly could have played the character as originally written (albeit probably without the demanding dance elements), but even toned down here for this "kinder, gentler" approach, he manages to convey a bit of Joey's smarm lying just beneath the charming surface.

Frank Sinatra was gracious enough to allow Rita Hayworth to take top billing over him on the marquee in honour of her long-standing relationship with the studio. Despite the fact that she didn't do her own singing (she was dubbed by Jo Ann Greer), her co-star Kim Novak didn't sing either (Kim was dubbed by Trudi Erwin). Of course, the songs were always the best part about Pal Joey and the film version kept ten songs by Rodgers and Hart from the original musical score and added four new ones, also by Rodgers and Hart. The new additions were "My Funny Valentine," "There's a Small Hotel," "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," and "The Lady is a Tramp" which is given the definite treatment by Sinatra with a killer Nelson Riddle arrangement.

It's no secret that ‘Pal Joey’ was cleaned up considerably for the screen after the Production Code office demanded numerous changes, but it survived the sanitation process and even made off with four Oscar® nominations: Best Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, and Best Art Direction. It also marks the end of Rita Hayworth's long relationship with Columbia Pictures.
In the biography, “If This Was Happiness” (Sphere Books Limited), writer Barbara Leaming observed that "it was common knowledge that Harry Cohn had anointed Kim Novak to replace Rita Hayworth at Columbia and shortly thereafter, the creation of Kim Novak as Columbia's next 'big star' was widely thought to be Harry Cohn's revenge on Rita, so that putting the two actresses together made the press and public expect fireworks. Still, according to George Sidney, on the set 'there was no friction between Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak.' Although Rita did lament that she was actually younger than Frank Sinatra, she was really just anxious to fulfil her final obligations to the studio as quickly and as smoothly as possible."

Blu-ray Video Quality – ‘Pal Joey’ is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time with a 1080p transfer in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. As has been mentioned before in other Twilight Time reviews, the niche label is at the mercy of the studios from which they license these titles, and this Columbia Pictures release, while incredibly colourful and vivid looking. There's nothing bad here, certainly nothing to be overly concerned about, but a lot of this film is just slightly gauzy, something increased exponentially in the optical, including (obviously) the credits sequence as well as the big fantasy sequence that caps the film. The pluses far outweigh the negatives here, with some incredibly lushly saturated colour, and excellent fine detail which brings out every nuance in the stunning Jean Louis costumes.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – The ‘Pal Joey’ soundtrack is offered in two mixes, English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and an Isolated Music: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Mono. Fidelity here is quite good, but it must also be stated for the record that some of the dubbed singing sounds noticeably boxier than the bulk of the soundtrack (listen especially to the women in the opening "Rainbow" production number for a very good example). The 5.1 mix isn't overly immersive, but the music is opened up rather nicely in this mix, and occasionally some ambient environmental sound effects will dot the surrounds, adding a bit of spaciousness to the proceedings. The music sounds spectacular for the most part, and Sinatra's voice is magnificent, reproduced with its entire slightly aged lustre.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Kim Novak Backstage Documentary [9:28] This is a really interesting, albeit way too brief, visit with Kim at her Oregon hideaway, where she reminisces about costume designer Jean Louis, as well as how the pressures of Hollywood actually helped her to continue working on her painting, something she still is involved with. Novak comes off as charming and down to earth, with absolutely no illusions (or delusions) of being a "big star."

Original Theatrical Trailer [4:59] This is a Frank Sinatra hosted longer than usual trailer. It sports pretty ragged looking video but is fun to watch nonetheless.

Isolated Score Track is presented in mono via a splendid sounding 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio mix. (Some online sites reported the isolated score as being released here in stereo, but I've confirmed with Twilight Time, and my own ears, that this is in mono.)

Booklet: Here we have a beautiful designed 8 page extensive Julie Kirgo liner notes and film art packaged with the Blu-ray disc.

Finally, ‘Pal Joey’ is it seems to me another superb example of the old studio system firing on all cylinders – the whole package of music design, art direction, costuming, choreography, and film editing (many Oscar-nominated for ‘Pal Joey’) all functioning seamlessly. With an incredible star package headed by Frank Sinatra on the screen, it's entertainment that's hard to beat, especially for all you "young 'uns" out there who are only familiar with Rodgers and Hammerstein, you have a veritable universe of fantastic music to discover in the pairing of Rodgers and Hart. There's no finer film to start than this beautiful colourful musical. Frank Sinatra could have easily pulled off a less likable character. But this 1957 musical is brash, well-staged, and features three big "movie star" performances from Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak. With good quality video and audio, and a really appealing, if sadly a short documentary, this release comes with highest praise indeed. So all in all, I am proud and honoured to have this in my classic musical film in my Blu-ray Collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sinatra more than holds his own., 18 Jan 2008
By 
Mr. Kenneth J. Hodges "kenvisions" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pal Joey [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The only good thing about this movie is Frank Sinatra, and in particular his memorable performance of 'The Lady is a Tramp'. Cut this out and throw the rest away. Kim Novak's performance is wooden and Rita Hayworth's not much better. Moreover the rest of Rodgers and Hart's music is devalued by the fact that neither of the leading ladies are capable of singing, so their voices had to be dubbed by others. What a con'when others could have been recruited to fit the bill. Without Sinatra 'no stars'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pal Joey - the movie, 13 Nov 2009
By 
Dr. H. A. Jones "Howard Jones" (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pal Joey [DVD] (DVD)
Pal Joey
For such a successful musical with a score by Richard Rodgers (music) and Lorenz Hart (lyrics), it's a bit surprising that it took seventeen years before Columbia Pictures brought it to the screen. But the wait was worthwhile. Our eponymous hero, if we can call him that, was played by Frank Sinatra (Gene Kelly in the 1940 Broadway show). He is a shallow, down-and-out, womanizing hoofer but, for all that, radiates charm and wit. In the movie, he has to choose between two gorgeous ladies - Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak. Tough choice! Novak is a timid girl from the chorus line while Hayworth is a former stripper who has pretentions of being a society lady.
The film score has many tunes that have become popular standards: `Bewitched', `My funny valentine', `I didn't know what time it was', `I could write a book', `There's a small hotel', and `The lady is a tramp', superbly delivered by Sinatra to Hayworth. Not all of these songs originated in the stage show of Pal Joey but they all slotted in perfectly into the movie. This is 105 minutes of delightful entertainment.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Star studded movie; adaptation of a great musical, 6 Sep 2007
By 
Rama Rao "Rama" (Annandale, VA, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pal Joey [DVD] (DVD)
This is a less than successful movie version of a hit 1940 Broadway musical Pal Joey, written by John O'Hara, with music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. The musical is modified in several ways. Of the original 14 Rodgers and Hart songs, 8 remained with the movie. Sinatra sings classics such as; "I Didn't Know What Time It was" and "I Could Write a Book," and "The Lady Is a Tramp;" and "My Funny Valentine" by Linda English is perhaps the best parts of the movie.

The story is about a singer named Joey Evans (Frank Sinatra), known for his womanizing ways is an out of work singer looking for a job in San Francisco. He meets a chorus girl named Linda English (Kim Novak), slowly, but steadily their friendship blossoms into love and romance. In the meantime, he develops a relationship with a wealthy widow named Vera Simpson (Rita Hayworth) to seek her help to finance his dream, "Chez Joey", a night club of his own. When the new night club is about to open, Vera finds about Joey and Linda, and she asks Joey to fire Linda, and he refuses, and Vera withdraws support for the night club. Joey and Vera use each other to the bitter end, ultimately Vera gives in, and Joey wins not only the club but also his prize, Linda. The movie has somewhat unrealistic ending; except for the fine performance of Frank Sinatra, his costars Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak are not very impressive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant songs, 1 May 2014
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This review is from: Pal Joey (DVD)
I loved this film. It has some great tunes. It'll have you still singing them after watching the film for ages. A must for any Sinatra fan.
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Pal Joey [DVD] [1957] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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