Is THE PAJAMA GAME (1957) the “first left-wing operetta,” as Jean-Luc Godard once famously called it? What’s not in doubt is that Doris Day is at her peak in this, the last of her great musicals for Warner Bros.
The film was directed by Stanley Donen and George Abbott, and co-starred Broadway powerhouse John Raitt as a factory superintendent to Day’s union team leader.
Bob Fosse choreographed the musical numbers—“Steam Heat” is an early triumph for this master of dance—and this weekend the UCLA Film and Television Archive will present a 35mm print screening of the film as part of their series Fosse, Fosse, Fosse! A Retrospective.
(DAMN YANKEES—directed by the same two filmmakers and starring Tab Hunter and Fosse’s wife Gwen Verdon—fills out the double-bill. Fosse and Verdon will be played by Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams in an upcoming FX series.)
THE PAJAMA GAME and DAMN YANKEES, Saturday, August 18, at 7:30 pm.
BILLY WILDER THEATER, Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles.
Above: Doris Day and John Raitt. Publicity photo for The Pajama Game.
Below: Day (center) in The Pajama Game. Image credit for both: Warner Bros.