A fresh—very fresh—arrival on the San Francisco nightclub scene, the amoral and ambitious Joey soon finds himself entangled with two “mice”: the rapacious stripper-turned-society dame Vera and the good-girl chorine Linda.
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Costume designer Jean Louis did a great job with Kim Novak here. She's beautiful with her clothes on (green, pink, red, take your pick) and without them in the Marie-Antoinette strip number. Frank Sinatra sings five or six classic songs. This is not a masterpiece but I'm not ashamed to have it in my library. Recommended to Sinatra and Novak fans.
The film adaptation of the Broadway show 'Pal Joey' feels under baked with weak performances, sloppy choreography and a love triangle that lacks passion. Having said that it also contains one of the best song scores of its time period. 'The Lady is a Tramp', 'My Funny Valentine', 'What Do I Care For a Dame', 'Bewitched Bothered & Bewildered'...and more. Kim Novak is quite striking to look at here.
Pal Joey was such a humorless, ugly grotesquerie of unrepentant and matter-of-fact misogyny I think it single handedly turned me feminist. Everyone (but Sinatra, who for all I know, treated this semi-autobiographically) seems to know it too - Novak and Hayworth act as if from a distance, and annoyed at everything. The result is tepid, flat and joyless.
A bit of a mess of a film tbh. Hayworth is underutilized, Novak is fine, Sinatra also ok but basically playing himself. The colors really pop in this one and the songs are on the whole pretty good. Features Sinatra's hit Lady Is A Tramp. Somehow despite its flaws, a fun watch. Worth checking out for fans of musicals. For Sinatra fans, there is better fare out there, like Some Came Running and Man With a Golden Arm.
If for no other reason, this film matters as a record of Sinatra in his prime. However, it is also a demonstration of how Hollywood can screw up a great opportunity. This should have been a wonderful film. Instead, it is a sloppy graceless mess. That said, I catch it every time it's on the tube to watch and listen to Sinatra and to look at Kim Novak.