Pillow Talk (1959)

2016 #31
Michael Gordon | 102 mins | Blu-ray | 2.35:1 | USA / English | PG

Doris Day and Rock Hudson star in this Oscar-winning rom-com hit.

The “they hate each other, will they get together?” storyline is, of course, obvious, but that’s beside the point. The leads spark off each other wonderfully, director Michael Gordon finds enjoyably inventive uses for split-screen and voiceover, and the Eastmancolor cinematography looks gorgeous in HD.

The only major downsides are a ludicrously rushed ending, and a lack of clarity that the people who share a phone line aren’t in the same building (I assumed that’s how a shared line would work!) Still, minor niggles in a film this fun.

4 out of 5

Texas Across the River (1966)

2008 #58
Michael Gordon | 101 mins | DVD | PG

Texas Across the RiverTexas Across the River hardly seems to be a well-remembered film — the only DVD edition available (as far as I can tell) is a legally-produced DVD-R, clearly in the wrong aspect ratio. I only come to see it because a friend happened to have a VHS as a child, enjoyed it back then, and we managed to track down that DVD. [It was later released on UK DVD in 2012. (Amazon claim 2007, which is clearly BS.)]

And actually, it’s a fairly entertaining film. Little more than a comedic Western runaround, it sees Alain Delon — as a Spanish nobleman — trying to get to Texas to escape the Cavalry (led by Jim Phelps himself, Peter Graves) and marry his betrothed. On the way he enlists the help of Dean Martin and his Indian sidekick. Hilarity ensues!

OK, so it’s probably funnier if you watch it before your age hits double figures, but it still has enough entertaining moments and decent gags that its complete expungement from almost anyone’s consciousness seems unwarranted.

I don’t expect it’ll ever undergo some miraculous revival (it’s not that good), and perhaps is of primary interest as a curio for fans of Dean Martin, Alain Delon or Mission: Impossible, but it made me laugh — and, as I believe I’ve said before, that’s all I really ask of a comedy.

4 out of 5