High level interior decorator Jan Morrow (Day) and skirt-chasing Broadway composer Brad Allen (Hudson) share a party line in midtown Manhattan. His monopolizing of that line leads to verbal fireworks and an on-going feud.
Until they meet when, of course, they immediately fall in love. However, Hudson quickly realizes who Day really is and invents a phony persona, Texas tycoon Rex Stetson to woo in the unsuspecting and always virginal Ms. Day.
Enter an irony that makes watching the film today even more of a hoot. Brad Allen via the party line keeps suggesting to Morrow that “Rex Stetson,” the lover boy he’s pretending to be, may be “a little light in the loafers” as people used to say.
Knowing what we do now about Hudson’s private life, those scenes take on a surreal quality.
And scope out Hudson’s New York “apartment.” It’s a two-story number with a circular staircase between floors. Only slightly larger than the Taj Mahal, one wonders where in Manhattan one could find such a showplace. And is it rent-controlled?
Anyway, the whole film is a delightful time capsule that shows us not as we really were, but as we would have liked to have been.
Of course, the duo along with sidekick Tony Randall would be back in other comedies like Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers, with Doris somehow regaining her virginity. But this first entry is still the best, having earned an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay as well as nominations for Day and female co-star Thelma Ritter.
Pillow Talk is available on disc and streaming services online.