“No matter what’s with us, Sid, I’m going to be fighting for my side, and fighting hard.”
A union representative (Doris Day) at a pajama factory falls in love with its new superintendent (John Raitt), but clashes with him over an imminent strike.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Doris Day Films
- Labor Movements
- Stanley Donen Films
- Workplace Drama
This technicolor Doris Day musical is most notable as one of choreographer Bob Fosse’s earliest cinematic efforts, and the dancing is indeed distinctive. Unfortunately, however, the story itself — about romance amidst labor negotiations at a pajama factory — is a frustratingly glib treatment of a complex issue. Indeed, it’s somewhat disturbing to see downtrodden workers depicted as such a cheery, colorfully dressed clan; they’re reminiscent of characters in Soviet-era propaganda musicals.
In addition, though the songs in The Pajama Game are fun while they last, none of them are particularly memorable; and the performances by romantic leads Day (who, as amusingly noted in Slant Magazine’s review, sports a “fetching [?] bull-dyke pompadour”) and Raitt are serviceable at best.
The Pajama Game will likely remain one-time viewing for most film fanatics.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Many cleverly executed musical tunes and choreography (by Bob Fosse)
- Colorful costumes and sets
- Carol Haney’s whacked-out performance as Day’s colleague
Yes, simply to see Fosse’s early work.