Pal Joey

1957

Drama / Musical / Romance

32
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 4,234

Synopsis


Downloaded 8,080 times
September 4, 2019

Director

Cast

Bess Flowers as Secretary
Frank Sinatra as Mike Connor
Kim Novak as Madge Owens
Rita Hayworth as Mrs. Vera Prentice-Simpson
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
912.03 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
111 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.73 GB
1920×1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
111 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by BrandtSponseller 10 / 10 / 10

Charming story, top-notch performances, sublime music, excellent script, lush visuals, and beautiful women

If you read my title, that's probably all I should have to say about this one. But I'll flesh it out for you a bit. If you couldn't tell, this is one of my favorite musicals, and one of my favorite films, period. In my view, there's not a flaw to be had here--we'd have to invent one, and it would be implausible. I give plenty of 10s, but quite a few are like rating a one-scoop ice cream cone where they forgot the cone, but where there's an extra scoop of ice cream in an attractive dish to make up for it. Pal Joey is like a one-scoop ice cream cone where not only is the cone there, it's the kind of cone you love, and there are two extra scoops of ice cream that happen to be your favorite flavors. Frank Sinatra is Joey Evans, a peripatetic musician who is also quite popular with women, but who has a reputation for not being exactly dependable or trustworthy. As the film opens he's being put on a train with a one-way ticket out of town because he was caught in an almost compromising situation with the Mayor's underaged daughter. He makes his way to San Francisco, where he sees that an old "friend"--more like an old debtee, Ned Galvin (Bobby Sherwood), is leading the band in a local club, The Barbary Coast. Joey finagles his way into a job, made more enticing to him, aside from the fact that he's broke, by the large number of very attractive women performers. But the club owner, Mike Miggins (Hank Henry), can see through his conniving ways. Joey, who dreams of one day having his own club, begins falling for Linda English (Kim Novak), despite the fact that Ned is head over heels for her and out of all of the women, Linda is the one who wants the least to do with him. He also runs into Vera Simpson (Rita Hayworth) when he does a society gig with Ned. It seems that Vera used to be a showgirl like Linda, but she "married up". Pal Joey is largely about a love triangle between Joey, Linda and Vera. This is an unusual romance in that for much of its length, all of the involved parties are reluctant. Linda may be attracted to Joey, but she knows better than getting involved with such a shifty womanizer. Vera is likewise cautious--especially since she has an implied history with Joey, and she now has a lot at stake. Joey is more than content to not approach commitment--he's satisfied with the string of women who continually pass through his life, who are all too happy to go out of their way to accommodate him--including doing his laundry and politely looking on and smiling when Joey puts the moves on another "mouse", as he calls them. As for Joey's interest in the two principals, it's not that he's not attracted to either, of course (what woman isn't he attracted to?), but with Vera he's playing her both for her money/social influence and to undermine what he sees as a feigned identity, and with Linda, he's initially attracted because she's playing hard to get. Both Linda and Vera also end up playing Joey to an extent to get back at him for various ethical blunders. In addition to being intriguing for its uniqueness and relative complexity, all of this works as well as it does because the three leads are incredible performers and the script is intelligent, witty and tightly constructed. Sinatra, Novak and Hayworth are mesmerizing to watch on their own, but they all have great chemistry together, too. The characters seem tailor-made for these actors, despite the fact that the script was based on a popular Broadway show that began its run in 1940, and the Broadway show was itself based on short fiction pieces by John O'Hara that appeared in New Yorker Magazine. Dorothy Kingsley's screenplay is loaded with subtle, quick humor in its clever dialogue. The combination of script, exemplary direction by George Sidney, and the great performances enables a number of very sophisticated dramatic moves, such as the deep backstory between Joey and Vera that is almost completely implied, and the overall atmosphere of the film, with its captivating and paradoxical combination of an ideal, romantic (in a more formal sense) world and a more earthy, cynical reality. The atmosphere is also helped by the lush Technicolor cinematography, with some impressive shots of San Francisco, but equally attractive soundstage set-ups. It's interesting to note Kim Novak's look here, especially when she's framed against San Francisco cityscapes--it's remarkably prescient of her appearance in Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958). I suppose Pal Joey may have been why Hitchcock decided to cast Novak, and it may have influenced him a bit visually. Before I run out of space, I should mention the music, by the incomparable duo of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, which is one of the best things about the film. Every song in Pal Joey is a gem. As a testament to how good they are, four of them--"I Could Write a Book", "The Lady is a Tramp", "My Funny Valentine", and my personal favorite, "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" (the theme of the film)--have become jazz standards over the years. There have been hundreds of recordings by different artists performing them--for that matter there are hundreds of recordings of "My Funny Valentine" alone. The arrangements (partially by Nelson Riddle) and performances (especially by Sinatra, but that probably goes without saying) in the film are sublime. If you're a jazz lover, the film would be worth viewing for the music alone, but of course it offers much more than that. Unless you simply hate musicals (in which case it's very unlikely that you've read this far), make sure you see Pal Joey at least once.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 10 / 10 / 10

John O'Hara, he could write a book

In his career Frank Sinatra did two film adaptions of Rodgers and Hart musicals. The first was Higher and Higher which was his first feature film speaking part. Pal Joey was the second and it is probably the greatest show Rodgers and Hart ever did. When it debuted on Broadway in 1941 it got good, but not great reviews. But everyone loved the Rodgers and Hart score. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered and I Could Write a Book were the big hits of the show and were retained for the film. Pal Joey may have been ahead of its times. It was revived in 1951 and ran twice as long as it did in its original production. The reviews were far better. To say this is unusual is putting it mildly. On Broadway, Joey Evans who we would now call a lounge lizard was played by Gene Kelly and in the revival by Harold Lang. The part really fit Sinatra perfectly. But the role had to be changed from a dancing part to a singing part. I believe that was the reason for the interpolation of other Rodgers and Hart songs in the film. And Sinatra sings some good ones in Pal Joey. Added in for the filmgoers listening pleasure are There's A Small Hotel, I Didn't Know What Time It Was, and The Lady is a Tramp, the last one becoming a Sinatra standard in his live concerts. Movie singing don't get too much better than this. Frank is an ambitious man of rather low morals who is caught between rich widow Rita Hayworth and ingenue Kim Novak. He loves Kim, but Rita can give him financial security. These are the kind of people that populate the John O'Hara world, very real and not too noble. Although a few years later Frank Sinatra sang a concert version of Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered with a hundred piece orchestra for his Reprise record label, it is in fact a woman's song as is My Funny Valentine. Rita does Bewitched as well as Zip. The latter song is a tribute number to Gypsy Rose Lee as Rita plays an ex-stripper. My Funny Valentine is done by Kim Novak. When I say done, both ladies mouthed the words, but the vocals were dubbed as they always were for Ms. Hayworth. And I guess that had to be because both Hayworth and Novak could never have had the parts done by the best of vocalists. As Pal Joey came to the screen in 1957 along with The Joker is Wild, my favorite Sinatra film, I've always picked that year as the year Old Blue Eyes was at the height of his career. His acting is impeccable and his singing, some of the best he ever did on screen.

Reviewed by olblueeyes-1 10 / 10 / 10

One of the real gems of Sinatra's movie career!

Frank Sinatra's movie career was peppered with great pictures; On the Town, Guys and Dolls, From Here To Eternity, Oceans 11 and so on and so forth. Pal Joey is without doubt, up there with the best of them. The movie centers around Joey Evans, a womanizing nightclub singer who finds himself forced to leave Chicago (literally) and start over in San Francisco. His persistence lands him a spot in the Barbary Coast Club, and while trying to lure a wealthy widow (Rita Hayworth) to the club, he plans to land a posh joint of his own. Frank's portrayal of Joey in this movie is wonderfully entertaining; from his Joey-isms ("Who's the mouse with the built?"), to the marvelous list of Rodgers and Hart songs he performs. Rita Hayworth may have been given top billing by Sinatra, but there is no doubt as to who the star is, it's Sinatra's show all the way. Sinatra's other leading lady in the picture is the young and beautiful Kim Novak, who plays hard-to-get Linda English, a dancer/singer at the Barbary Coast who is one of the few women who seems to be able to resist his charms. The songs, as I mentioned are great, and include the legendary 'The Lady Is A Tramp', which is a treasure in itself. This is not the actual studio recording of the song, but one recorded for the movie (as all the songs are), and is in my opinion, far superior to it's mainstream counterpart. Joey is not the only one to sing either as both Novak and Hayworth's characters have numbers also, albeit dubbed by other vocalists, unlike Sinatra. The DVD version of this film looks fantastic considering the age of the picture, containing both anamorphic widescreen and full screen versions. The sound also, while only in 2 channel mono, is lively and clear. For entertainment value, I cannot recommend this movie enough. Even if you are initially put-off by its labelling as a musical, you will not be disappointed. It's a gasser!

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