BY ISA MONTAGNESE
Year released: 1959
How it fared back then: Doris Day and Rock Hudson made three fairly successful movies together in the late ’50s early ’60s. Pillow Talk was probably their most successful movie together probably because of the cheap double entendres, their popularity and style, and the PG rating. The filmmakers were trying to capitalize on the public’s new fascination with sex and relationships by making a super safe “sexscapade”.
Why it’s lasted: I think Rock and Doris have become an iconic duo over the years thanks to their silly charm, safe and mild wit, and classic rom-com chemistry. The biggest appeal of their movies is the nostalgia factor. They are a snapshot of the year it was made (a very PG version of the year it was made, but anyways). For example, the whole movie is based on these two posh dinks sharing a party line (kids, back in the day some people had to share phone lines with their neighbours).
- The classic split screen scene famously spoofed by the unofficial remake, Down With Love (2003). Doris and Rock talk on the phone while doing practically the same thing at the same time.
- The phone call scene where Rock asks Doris if she thinks her new beau is gay. He tries to gently hint at what he means by asking if her guy is “very devoted to his mother,” “likes to collect cooking recipes” or “likes to exchange gossip.”This is the ’50s, but yikes! Sexual revolution indeed!
- Every scene with Alma (Thelma Ritter from Rear Window), Doris’s almost always hungover sidekick.
Does it still hold up? It probably holds up for the same reasons it doesn’t. It very “of its time” which makes it out of touch when watching it today. A lot of the time, the whole movie feels safe and kind of silly, but Doris and Rock are still loveable in a nostalgic way. Some of the jokes are still pretty funny and its a charming, fun movie overall. It’s so PG it’s like watching kids drinking cocktails and talking about sex.