The Pajama Game (1957)

The Pajama Gamethe-pajama-game-movie-poster-1957-1020143940
Directed by George Abbott and Stanley Donen
Written by George Abbott and Richard Bissell
Warner Bros.
Repeat viewing/DVD Collection


Seven and a half cents doesn’t buy a hell of a lot,/ Seven and a half cents doesn’t mean a thing!/ But give it to me every hour,/ Forty hours every week/, And that’s enough for me to be living like a king! — Lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross

This musical was a childhood favorite and I still love it.

The workers in an Iowa pajama factory have been petitioning management for a 7 1/2 cent raise.  Workers for other companies received this months ago.  Management has refused, citing high costs and low profits.  As the story begins, Sid Sorokin (John Raitt) is hired as a floor superintendent.  He is eager to make good.  The workers are uncooperative and he is soon brought before the Grievance Committee headed by Babe Williams (Doris Day).  She is a passionate union activist.  Obviously, the two will fall in love.


Meanwhile, secretary Gladys Hotchkiss (Carol Haney) is pestered constantly by her jealous boyfriend Hinesy (Eddie Foy Jr.), an efficiency expert.  As the workers move ever closer to striking, the relationship between Sid and Babe is threatened.  He takes drastic action to achieve a compromise.

pajama-game- white dress blue scarf

As far as I am concerned, this is a practically perfect joyous experience.  I feel sorry for the IMDb users who disagree.  It has great songs (most famous I think is “Hernando’s Hideaway”) and wonderful choreography by Bob Fosse.  I love Day when she is brassy like this.  The rest of the cast come from the Broadway show and look like they actually could be factory workers.  The production is fairly stagey but I think that suits the story.  Recommended for musical lovers.

Day and company sing “I’m Not at All in Love”

2 thoughts on “The Pajama Game (1957)

    • Don’t have the soundtrack but I now own the movie! This is another one that was a Million Dollar Movie more than once. I know Damn Yankees and Yankee Doodle Dandy were as well.

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