Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall, Thelma Ritter, Jacqueline Beer
Director: Michael Gordon
Rock Hudson and Doris Day light up the screen in the new 50th Anniversary Edition of Pillow Talk! This timeless romantic comedy tells the charming story of Jan Morrow (Day), an uptight interior decorator who must share a p... more »
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Horribly Screwed-Up DVD Transfer Of A Great Film!
David Von Pein | Mooresville, Indiana; USA | 04/06/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Rating for this movie -- 5 Stars.
Rating for the 2004 DVD version of the film -- 1 Star.
"Pillow Talk" stars Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Tony Randall, and Thelma Ritter. It remains today what it was when released in October of 1959, and that is -- a highly-entertaining and well-acted romantic comedy.
The film was re-released on DVD-Video by Universal Studios on April 6th, 2004. This newer version has been enhanced for 16x9 widescreen TVs, and the anamorphic enhancement has helped in many places. However, the picture quality here does seem to be a bit of a "hit and miss" proposition. Several portions of the movie still look rather crummy (artifact-wise), exhibiting obvious dirt speckles and "noise". The opening titles sequence is peppered with dirt and artifacts galore, as are a few other parts of the film, particularly ALL of the "split screen" scenes. For some reason, it seems that these "split screen" shots could not be cleaned-up nearly as much as the other portions of the movie.
But by far the biggest atrocity is the fact that this 2004 DVD print has been mis-framed! In some places pretty badly, too. Head room is way too tight here, with the tops of many character's heads being cut off. This was NOT the case with the previous 1999 DVD print of this movie.
When you compare the '99 print with this 2004 one, the mis-framing is obvious in many places. It appears that this new print has been "zoomed in" quite a bit, creating the tight head room. Some of the most blatant examples of this "zooming in" occur in Chapter 10, where the piano player's head is severely cropped. Whereas, on the '99 DVD, her entire head is visible in the frame. Plus, a few seconds later in that "Roly Poly" scene, we see a shot of several people singing along to the music and clapping their hands. In this shot, TWO ENTIRE PEOPLE (one on the left and one on the right side of the frame) are totally cut out of the shot! Plus, part of another man is cut out of the frame on the left! These "missing" people are all visible on the 1999 disc.
And check out Chapter 14! This scene is simply horrifying from a framing standpoint! Literally half of Rock Hudson's head is missing here! When we KNOW it should be in the frame (based on the 1999 disc, which is perfectly framed for the 2.35:1 aspect ratio of the movie). Yikes!
This is ridiculous carelessness on the part of Universal's quality control department! Many scenes are totally botched with this zoomed-in mis-framing of the print!
Looks like yet another case of a Universal product being mishandled in the DVD transfer department. A pity! For "Pillow Talk" is one of the best romantic comedies you're likely to see this year, or any other year. And it deserves better treatment than this. It's just plain stupid to let an obviously-botched DVD video transfer like this one get into any consumer's hands! Doesn't ANYONE check these framing issues before finalizing the product? Mind-boggling indeed!
This newer DVD version of the film contains the exact same Menu design and Special Features as the previous non-anamorphic variant (minus a text info page about Universal "Web Links"). The bonus features aren't very plentiful, being limited to the original theatrical trailer and some very extensive and informative text notes on the film and its cast members. (FYI -- These text-based items are verbatim to the older "Pillow Talk" DVD release; but definitely worth a read. Until reading these Production Notes, I never knew a sequel to the film was being planned in 1980. But, unfortunately, the project never got beyond the initial planning stages, and the film was never made. Too bad. I'd have liked to have seen that sequel.)
I'm severely disappointed with this DVD. I looked forward very much to having this film in an enhanced anamorphic state. But in this butchered, mis-framed version, it's nearly impossible to fully enjoy the film. Because the FULL film is not here!
If you've already got the older non-anamorphic DVD of "Pillow Talk", you'd be better advised to just hang onto it, and skip this version entirely. Upon looking over both versions side-by-side, the older one really isn't very much worse (fuzziness-wise) than this new one. And when factoring in the mis-framing problem of the new one, the old DVD displays the WHOLE picture; while this new one definitely does not.*
* EDIT/FOOTNOTE (OCTOBER 2005) -- Universal has supposedly fixed the mis-framing problem with this 2004 DVD release -- although I've ordered multiple copies of the "new" disc (from different e-tailers) and still haven't seen a properly-framed copy. I've had to return each one thus far (and they were ordered more than a year apart). Very discouraging. So, you're taking your chances when you order this '04 version of the film.
~throws hands in air in disgust~"
5 Stars For The Movie- 1 Star For the DVD Version
Sallie A. Martin | OK | 06/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Doris Day and Rock Hudson are perhaps the best duo in movie history. Pillow Talk is one of the most clever comedies ever made. This film is about a painful reality in the 50's- party lines. When Jan Morrow wants to use her phone, she must first listen to her other "party" Brad Allen romance the women. She finally works out a deal with him to each have a thirty minute slot where they can make calls, but selfish Brad doesn't adhere to the rules at all! Brad accidentally meets the other end of his party line at a restaurant, and makes a quick decision to become someone else. He ultimately romances Jan, while she has no idea that he is her arch enemy. For it's time, Pillow Talk was one of the more risque films, but yet one of the funniest and most romantic ever made.
On that note, I have to say I was so disappointed with this DVD. There are no extras to speak of other than the trailer and some production notes. As successful as the stars of this movie were, you think Universal could have put a little more punch into this DVD. The quality of the DVD is also quite poor. There was no digital remastering, only a direct copy from vhs to dvd. If you are a person who only has dvd's, I would still get this because this is such a classic, you have to have it around. If you still have your vhs machine, get it on vhs, it's cheaper and not any less quality than the dvd."
Kelly | Littleton, Colorado | 03/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is probably the most well known pairing of Doris Day and Rock Hudson. A laugh out loud comedy in which Tony Randall and Thelma Ritter also showcase their vast comedic talent. Jan Morrow shares a party line with Brad Allen, which she has tried to put a stop to, but the phone company won't cooperate. She uses it for her work as an interior decorator, while he uses it to seduce a multitude of women thru his song writing. When they meet by accident, he assumes another identity to get close to Jan hoping to deceive her until he has the opportunity to get what he wants. When she becomes wise to his deception, all bets are off!
A Comic Inspiration...To Me!
Hillary | Brooklyn, New York | 06/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the classic comedies that starred Doris Day and Rock Hudson, or the two stars with other co-stars, this remains my favorite.The legendary late Rock Hudson was at his peak in this romantic comedy, and who better to showcase his charms against, than quintessential girl-next-door, Doris Day. Hudson thrives on his ability to charm indeed, as a songwriter named Brad Allen. Brad is a love-em and leave-em kind of guy, who entertains a seemingly endless array of lovesick females at his well equipped bachelor pad. He also sings to them over the phone for hours on end, tying up the telephone party-line he shares with Jan Morrow, interior designer, enter a perturbed Doris Day. Every time Jan picks up the phone, she hears Brad sing "You're My Inspiration...", and always with a new girls' name attached to the end. Flabbergasted at his womanizing, she sends a phone company rep to have a word with Mr. Allen, only to find that she TOO has fallen for the tall dark and handsome playboy. .............. Jan tells her boyfriend of sorts played by the wonderful veteran comedy legend Tony Randall, about her dialing dilemma. Randall, as always, plays himself. He's neat, dapper and proper, as not only Jan's boyfriend, but Brad Allen's friend and boss as well. After extoling the virtues of Jan to Brad, and mentioning that she shares a party-line with "some nut", describing the singing phone routine, Brad is too curious to find out what Randall is so wild about. After Brad Allen finally glimpses Jan Morrow dancing at a club, and sees the other end of his party line is not the shrew he expected, he sets out for his sweetest conquest of all................ "Pillow Talk" is a timeless gem of classic comedy. Amazingly, it was considered quite risque in it's time. This only goes to show just how jaded the world and cinema has become since 1959. Rock Hudson was actually embarrassed, and nearly declined the role. We can speculate in retrospect why he felt that way, but no one could've been a better cad than Rock as Brad! The one and only Doris Day is sweet as sunshine, until the duped decorator delighfully disarms Mr. Allen's charms, leaving him, for the first time, really in love with someone other than himself. Thelma Ritter is amusing as Jan's perpetually hung-over housekeeper. It's a truly comic moment when Ritter counsels Brad over a few too many drinks on how to win Jan over, and Hudsons' head hits the table with a thud, while Ritter babbles on oblivous to her companions condition. Tony Randall is his classic prim self, and laugh out loud funny, as he storms into his own place to rescue Jan from the smug seducer huffing the line "At least you could have had the DECENCY...to bring your OWN champagne!" .............. There are too many wonderful moments in this film to cover them all. If you somehow haven't, it's far better for you to enjoy watching this long lost genre of the innocent, fun, fresh feel-good romantic comedy, and experience first hand, the pure delight it has to offer in abundance."