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Pal Joey Details


The John O'Hara/Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Broadway musical Pal Joey created quite a stir during its original theatrical run in 1940. Here we had a heel of a hero who sleeps with a wealthy older woman in order to realize his dream of owning his own nightclub, and who breaks the heart of the girl who truly loves him when she impedes his plans to get ahead. Lorenz Hart it wasn't. Due to the seamy nature of the plot and the double- and single-entendre song lyrics (especially the original words for "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", which you aren't likely to hear on most mainstream recordings of this tune), Pal Joey could not be faithfully filmed back in the 1940s. Even this 1957 version, made at a time when movie censorship was beginning to relax, was extensively sanitized for public consumption. Ambitious singer/dancer Joey (Frank Sinatra) is still something of a louse, but a redeemable one. The relationship between Joey and his older benefactress Vera Simpson (Rita Hayworth, who was actually a few years younger than Sinatra) is one of implication rather than overt statement. And Joey's true love, chorine Linda English (Kim Novak), is as pure as the driven snow, who vehemently expresses distaste at having to perform a striptease. The Rodgers and Hart songs ("I Could Write a Book" the aforementioned "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered") which seemed so cynical and ironic back in 1940, are given the typically lush, luxurious Hollywood treatment (many of the tunes, notably "There's a Small Hotel", were borrowed from other Rodgers and Hart shows, a not uncommon practice of the time). Pal Joey is nice to look at and consummately performed, but don't expect the bite of the original play, or the John O'Hara short stories which preceded them. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:October 25, 1957


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jerome Thoms Best Editing 1957 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Louis Diage Best Art Direction 1957 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Viola Lawrence Best Editing 1957 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Walter Holscher Best Art Direction 1957 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences William Kiernan Best Art Direction 1957 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jean Louis Best Costume Design 1957 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Frank Sinatra Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1957 Winner


Rita Hayworth
as Vera Simpson
Frank Sinatra
as Joey Evans
Kim Novak
as Linda English
Barbara Nichols
as Gladys
Bobby Sherwood
as Ned Galvin
Hank Henry
as Mike Miggins
Elizabeth Patterson
as Mrs. Casey
Robin Morse
as Bartender
Frank Wilcox
as Col. Langley
Pierre Watkin
as Mr. Forsythe
Barry Bernard
as Anderson
Ellie Kent
as Carol
Mara McAfee
as Sabrina
Betty Utey
as Patsy
Bek Nelson
as Lola
Hermes Pan
as Choreographer
George Ford
Gail Bonney
as Heavy-Set Woman
Jane Chung
as Flower Lady
Oliver Cross
Steve Benton
as Electrician
Everett Glass
as Pet Store Owner
Sydney Chatton
Leon Alton
as Printer Salesman
Eddie Bartell
Jean Corbett
as Specialty Dance Double
Joseph Miksak
Henry McCann
as Shorty
James Seay
as Livingston
Tol Avery
as Detective
Frank Sully
as Barker
Al Nalbandian
Franklin Farnum
as Person
John Hubbard
as Stanley
Judy Dan
as Hat Check Girl
Giselle D'Arc
as Vera's Maid
Bess Flowers
as Person


George Sidney
Fred Kohlmar
Dorothy Kingsley
Harold Lipstein
Morris W. Stoloff
Musical Direction/Supervision
George Duning
Composer (Music Score)
Nelson Riddle
Composer (Music Score)
Richard Rodgers
From Musical by
Viola Lawrence
Jerome Thoms
Walter Holscher
Art Director
Louis Diage
Set Designer
William Kiernan
Set Designer
Jean Louis
Costume Designer
Hermes Pan