Pal Joey (film)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
German title Pal Joey
Original title Pal Joey
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1957
length 111 minutes
Director George Sidney
script Dorothy Kingsley
production Fred Kohlmar
music Richard Rodgers ,
Lorenz Hart ,
George Duning
camera Harold Lipstein
cut Viola Lawrence ,
Jerome Thoms

Pal Joey is a 1957 American musical film directed by George Sidney and starring Rita Hayworth , Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak . As a template that served eponymous Broadway - Musical by John O'Hara , with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart . In addition to the standard song Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered , famous songs from other Rodgers and Hart musicals, such as The Lady Is a Tramp and My Funny Valentine , were also used in the film . The film, which was among the ten most successful productions of the year in the United States, received much critical praise at the time and cemented Sinatra's reputation as an entertainer.


After being kicked out of a town for making advances to the mayor's young daughter, singer Joey Evans ends up at the San Francisco train station . Without a penny in his pocket, he sets out to get a new engagement in a nightclub. When he learns that his old friend Ned Galvin is performing with his band at the “Barbary Coast Club”, he sees his chance. But the owner of the bar, Mike Miggins, is unwilling to let Joey, who is known for his unreliability, sing on his stage. But when the star of the show does not appear, Joey spontaneously steps in for him and entertains the audience with his brisk sayings and sure vocal interludes, Mike finally hires him. One of the club's dancers is the pretty blonde Linda English, whom Joey immediately casts an eye on.

When Ned and his band are signed up for a charity event, Joey and Linda are also there. The hostess is the wealthy widow Vera Simpson, whose face Joey immediately recognizes. During the auction, which is collecting money for a good cause, Joey remembers where he knows Vera from: She once performed as a striptease dancer and was famous for her provocative veil dance . Joey spontaneously decides to take Vera by surprise by cheekily announcing over the microphone that Vera will perform one of her old strip dance numbers for a good cause. In the face of this shameless revelation of her past, Vera reluctantly puts an acclaimed dance on the floor. At the end of the evening, Joey and Ned accompany Linda to their guesthouse, where Joey notices that another room next to Linda's is still available. The next morning Linda is horrified when Joey knocks on the door of her bathroom, which she has to share with him from now on. Although Joey has wrapped the majority of the nightclub dancers around her finger after just a few weeks, Linda remains skeptical of him. To avoid his constant advances one more time, she gets Joey to buy a small dog he calls Snuffy.

One evening Vera shows up surprisingly at the club. She is determined to get back the favor of Joey's faux pas at the auction. She orders a few drinks and starts flirting with him. But when Joey prepares to sing on stage, she demonstratively leaves the restaurant without paying her bill. Mike blames Joey for the respected guest's sudden disappearance, which is why he dismisses the singer without notice. However, he agrees to a deal with Joey: if he manages to persuade Vera to return to the club within a week, he will get his job back. Against all odds, Joey manages to lure the rich lady back into the club. Vera is fascinated by his self-confident, frivolous manner - even when he insults her with the lines of a song. Then they drive together to their yacht , where Joey finally tells her about his dream of having his own elegant nightclub one day, and they get closer.

Shortly afterwards, Joey moves in with Vera, leaves his dog Snuffy in Linda's care and, with Vera's financial support, builds his own restaurant, which he baptizes “Chez Joey”. Everything seems to be going well until he decides to have Linda appear on his show. When she is rehearsing a daring striptease and the male employees whistle lustfully to her, Joey jealously intervenes and ends the rehearsal. Exactly at this moment Vera appears, who now realizes that Joey has truly given his heart away for the first time in his life - but not to her, but to Linda. And so she demands of him to dismiss the rival. If he doesn't, she wants to close the club. But Joey refuses.

Linda then tries to persuade Vera to reopen the club. Vera is quite willing to think twice, but only when Linda leaves town. Vera later returns to her yacht, where Joey is busy packing his things. She wants to reconcile with him and offers him to marry her. Joey declines thanks and Vera finally realizes that his love for Linda has changed him. Before Joey leaves town, he stops by the closed “Chez Joey” and imagines what could have become of his dream. As he wistfully leaves the club and walks down the street, Linda and Snuffy meet him. Vera had informed Linda of Joey's travel plans and had generously driven them around San Francisco in her car to find Joey. He warns Linda not to get involved with him. But Linda ignores his concerns and is ready to start a life with him.



Columbia Pictures had acquired the film rights to John O'Hara's Broadway hit Pal Joey in 1941 . But due to acute problems of cheating the frivolous story past the censorship and still delivering a suitable script, the project was put on hold for the time being. After Columbia's greatest star Rita Hayworth appeared together with Gene Kelly in the very successful film musical Es tanzt die Goddess in 1944 , studio boss Harry Cohn decided to bring the two in front of the camera again for Pal Joey . Hayworth was to play the young Linda and Kelly the title character. But Kelly, who rose to Broadway star with the role of Joey in the early 1940s, was contractually bound to MGM . When Kelly became a Hollywood star with Es tanzt die goddess , MGM was no longer ready to loan him to Columbia, which is why the film could not be made at the time.

When the musical again enjoyed great success on Broadway in the early 1950s, Columbia tried one more time to write a suitable script. In 1956 it was proudly announced that the studio would finally have a satisfactory script at their disposal and that preproduction was in full swing. Billy Wilder was originally supposed to direct. But after discussing the project over lunch with studio boss Harry Cohn, Wilder declined to direct. George Sidney , who had great success with the film adaptations of the musicals Show Boat and Kiss Me, Kate in the early 1950s, was finally hired as a director.


Frank Sinatra, 1960

At first it was said that Marlon Brando should play the Joey and Mae West the rich Vera. But Frank Sinatra wanted to embody Joey on screen at all costs and did everything to convince Harry Cohn of himself. In the meantime, Cohn envisaged Marlene Dietrich for the role of Vera. However, Dietrich canceled when Cohn decided to cast Jack Lemmon and not Sinatra as Joey. After further back and forth Sinatra played the Joey in the end and Hayworth took over the role of the older Vera, even though she was actually three years younger than Sinatra. After the cast of Linda with Columbia's new star, Kim Novak , the press rumored that there would be arguments between Hayworth and her young rival on the set. But contrary to expectations, the two actresses got on well with each other. Years later, Novak remembered Hayworth fondly and described her as "always very charming and amiable".

With Frank Sinatra at the height of his fame as a Hollywood actor in 1957, the pertinent question arose as to whose name should be high on the posters - Sinatras or Hayworths. Quite the gentleman left Sinatra Hayworth this privilege and said: “Who else but Rita should be at the top? In my opinion is it Columbia Pictures and always will be! The studio may have made her a star, but it was she who gave the studio status. "Given the order - Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak - he joked to the press:" This is a sandwich that I love to be in the middle. ”As it later turned out, Pal Joey Hayworth's last film was under her 20-year Columbia contract. After that she worked as a freelance actress.


The Spreckels Villa in San Francisco, the setting for the Club "Chez Joey"

Shooting took place on University Avenue and at the train station in Berkeley , California , as well as on Washington Street in San Francisco , where Spreckels Villa was staged as Joey's club "Chez Joey". Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak were dubbed for their vocal performances, Hayworth by Jo Ann Greer and Novak by Trudy Erwin. The dance numbers were choreographed by Hayworth's longtime friend Hermes Pan , who is best known for his close collaboration with dance legend Fred Astaire .

Differences to the stage version

The location of the action has been moved from the original Chicago to San Francisco . Instead of a dancer, Joey is a singer in the film. While he's an antihero on stage and ends up being alone, the film version opted for a happy ending. Linda, on the other hand, was originally a stenographer and Vera, instead of a widow, was a married woman. The film version also features four songs that were taken from other stage shows: The Lady Is a Tramp and My Funny Valentine are from Babes in Arms , There's a Small Hotel from On Your Toes and I Didn't Know What Time It Was from Too many girls . Of the 14 songs in the stage version, only eight remained in the film. Two more can be heard as instrumental background accompaniment ( Plant You Now, Dig You Later and You Mustn't Kick It Around ).

Music and dance numbers

Richard Rodgers (left) and Lorenz Hart, 1936
  • That Terrific Rainbow ( Richard Rodgers / Lorenz Hart ): When Joey ( Frank Sinatra ) arrives in San Francisco and is looking for a job as a singer, he ends up in a club where Gladys ( Barbara Nichols ), Linda ( Kim Novak ) and other show girls in tight costumessinging and dancing on stageto That Terrific Rainbow (German: "This grandiose rainbow").
  • I Didn't Know What Time It Was (Rodgers / Hart): To show off his singing talent to the boss of the club, Joey spontaneously goes on stage and sings the songI Didn't Know What Time It Was(Eng: “I knew not what time it was ”), which is particularly popular with the female audience in its soulful presentation.
  • Great Big Town (Rodgers / Hart): Then the revue girls with canes and hats sing Great Big Town (German: "The big city") a hymn to San Francisco. Again Joey goes spontaneously on stage and imitates the dance steps of the girls.
  • There's a Small Hotel (Rodgers / Hart): At the auction in Vera Simpsons ( Rita Hayworth ) villa, Joey sings in the company of a big big band There's a Small Hotel (German: "There's a small hotel"), with one eye Throws at Vera and deliberately flirts with her with the lines of song about the prospect of a night of love together in a hotel.
  • Zip (Rodgers / Hart): When Joey recognizes a former striptease dancerin Vera, he offers her dance performance up for auction. Reluctantly, Vera begins her appearance on Zip , in which she tells, initially in chanting with piano accompaniment, of her past as a stripper who sees herself as an artist and is interested in intellectuals like Stravinsky , Schopenhauer and Freud . She begins to sing and takes off her white gloves. In typical ambiguous movements of the burlesque dance, she moves across the stage, using the silk-white trains of her tight black evening dress.
  • I Could Write a Book (Rodgers / Hart): Once again in the club where he is employed, Joey sings the love song I Could Write a Book , to which he speaks to Linda in her lavender-colored Pulling dress on stage and encouraging her to sing with him.
  • The Lady Is a Tramp (Rodgers / Hart): When Veraappearsalone in the clubone evening in an orange evening gown with a matchingfur stole, Joey sings in a blue jacketThe Lady Is a Tramp(German: "The lady is a slut") you on stage and accompanies you on the piano. At first Vera feels offended when Joey describes her with the lines of the song as an easy girl who only pretends to play the fine lady. Nevertheless, Vera is fascinated by his charming and ironic performance, so that she willingly follows him on stage, where they then dance together to the melody of the song.
  • Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (Rodgers / Hart): After her night of love with Joey, Vera wakes up in her bedroom, where she is in a yellow negligee in a newly discovered frenzy of love playing the song Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (Eng .: "Enchanted, bewildered, confused" ), looking at yourself in the mirror and then taking a shower in the bathroom.
  • My Funny Valentine (Rodgers / Hart): After Joey opened his own club with Vera's financial support, Linda appeared on stage there and melancholy sings the balladMy Funny Valentine(German: "My funny sweetheart"), with which she expresses her supposed loss of Joey's affection.
  • Later, Linda performs a striptease in Joey's club to various melodies (including I Could Write a Book ) until she is only on stage in corsage and lace panties and Joey breaks off her performance.
  • What Do I Care for a Dame (Rodgers / Hart): When Joey has to close his club, he returns there one last time. In a dream sequence he performs the cynical song What Do I Care for a Dame (German: “ What do I care about a woman?”) In tails and top hats. Vera and Linda also appear and begin to dance around him in their black, tight-fitting outfits until Joey finally wakes up from his daydream.



Pal Joey premiered in New York , Chicago and Los Angeles on October 25, 1957 , and went on general distribution in the United States in December 1957 . It subsequently grossed $ 4.7 million at the US box office, making it one of the top ten box office hits of 1957. The film was also very popular with most of the critics. Many of them, then and now, agree that the title character of the film, Frank Sinatra, portrays Sinatra's star role and defines his image, that of the casual entertainer. Sinatra also received the Golden Globe and Laurel Award for his performance . In Germany, Pal Joey was released in cinemas on July 18, 1958. The film was first released on DVD in 2003.


A. H. Weiler of the New York Times found at the time that Pal Joey was "largely Sinatra's show." He shows "as a lovable crook with an iron ego [...] an extremely lively and engaging personality". He is assisted by Rita Hayworth, “who will undoubtedly attract the envy of all women”. She wears "a series of negligees and robes that would make any designer pale". According to Variety , Pal Joey offers "strong and funny entertainment". Sinatra is "ideally cast as a disrespectful, quick-witted Joey". Hayworth, who no longer plays the naive, acts “as Joey's sponsor with a lot of authority” and performs her Zip number “in a fiery, amusing style that calls for encore”. When it comes to music, The Lady Is a Tramp stands out. "Sinatra is great, he was born to play Joey," praised The Hollywood Reporter . Hayworth is "extremely lovely" and also delivers "an excellent performance".

In retrospect, Craig Butler of the All Movie Guide attested the direction of George Sidney "a sleek style that perfectly brings out the star of the film, Frank Sinatra". What can be seen is “a classic Sinatra appearance” that seems “serene and casual”. Sinatra stands face to face with "the stunning Rita Hayworth", "who is sometimes fiery, sometimes cool". Although it is dubbed, she makes the dance number Zip a "sensation" and brings "the screen to a boil" with Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered . Kim Novak is "playful" in her role, but she cannot keep up with the other two. The songs by Rodgers and Hart are "absolutely first class" and are "excellently presented". Overall, Pal Joey is "a stylish and winning musical with all kinds of swing".

In 1958, Der Spiegel expressed itself rather critically: “The well-oiled chants and dances of the three main actors and the colorful show of millionaire luxury and nightclub magic are hindered rather than supported by over-the-top or plaintive dialogues." The lexicon of international films called Pal Joey simply "[ d] Decorative musical with a 'frivolous' story and songs by Rodgers / Hart ”.

“Well choreographed, with stars in top form,” said Cinema much more benevolently. For Prisma it was about "[e] in a colorful, upbeat musical in which director George Sidney relies entirely on Sinatra's art". Above all, "the excellent vocal numbers of the successful composer duo Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart" were successful.


At the 1958 Academy Awards , Pal Joey was in the categories of Best Editing ( Viola Lawrence , Jerome Thoms ), Best Sound ( John P. Livadary ), Best Costume Design ( Jean Louis ) and Best Production Design ( Walter Holscher , William Kiernan , Louis Diage ) for the Oscar nominated, but had to admit defeat to the competition. The film was also nominated for the Golden Globe in the category of best film - comedy or musical , but it was defeated by the film musical The Girls by George Cukor . Frank Sinatra, on the other hand, was able to assert himself in the category Best Actor - Comedy or Musical and win the award.

At the Laurel Awards , Pal Joey took 1st place in the Best Musical category. Sinatra was also able to secure 1st place for the best male musical performance. Morris Stoloff came 2nd in the Best Musical Director category for his contribution to Pal Joey .

German version

The German dubbed version was created in 1958 by Ultra Film Synchron GmbH Berlin based on the dialogue book by Erika Streithorst and directed by Josef Wolf .

role actor Voice actor
Vera Simpson Rita Hayworth Gisela Trowe
Joey Evans Frank Sinatra Wolfgang Kieling
Linda English Kim Novak Marion Degler
Gladys Barbara Nichols Ingeborg Wellmann
Ned Galvin Bobby Sherwood Gert Günther Hoffmann
Mike Miggins Hank Henry Bum Kruger
Mrs. Casey Elizabeth Patterson Agnes Windeck


  • Rodgers & Hart: Pal Joey. Original film soundtrack . Hallmark 2008, a CD with 16 movie songs
  • Rodgers & Hart: Pal Joey - Deluxe Digipack . Bluemoon 2008, a CD with 21 movie songs
  • Rodgers & Hart: Pal Joey - Original Film Soundtrack . MD Music Company 2009

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Gene Ringgold: The Films of Rita Hayworth . Citadel Press, Secaucus 1974, p. 207.
  2. John Kobal: Rita Hayworth: The Time, The Place and the Woman . WW Norton, New York 1977, ISBN 0-393-07526-5 , p. 132.
  3. She was always charming and gracious. See
  4. Who else but Rita should get top billing? After all, in my mind, she always was and always will be Columbia Pictures! The studio may have built her into a star but just remember it was Rita Hayworth who gave Columbia status. See
  5. That's a sandwich I don't mind being stuck in the middle of. "Caren Roberts-Frenzel: Rita Hayworth: A Photographic Retrospective . Abrams, New York 2001.
  6. ^ Stanley Green: Hollywood Musicals Year By Year . Hal Leonard Corporation, 2nd Ed., 1990, p. 214.
  7. There is no doubt that this is largely Mr. Sinatra's show. As the amiable grifter with an iron ego, he projects a distinctly bouncy likable personality into an unusual role. [...] He gets a professional assist from Miss Hayworth, who undoubtedly will be the envy of all women. As the red-haired charmer whom he finally rejects, she wears a succession of negligees and gowns that would make any couturier drool. " A. H. Weiler : Screen: 'Pal Joey' Back on Broadway; Sinatra Is Starred in Film of Hit Show . In: The New York Times , October 28, 1957.
  8. Pal Joey is a strong, funny entertainment. [...] Frank Sinatra is potent. He's almost ideal as the irreverent, free-wheeling, glib Joey. [...] Hayworth, no longer the ingenue, moves with authority as Joey's sponsor and does the 'Zip' song visuals in such fiery, amusing style as to rate an encore. Standout of the score is Lady Is a Tramp . "See Pal Joey . In: Variety , 1957.
  9. Sinatra is great, and he was born to play Joey. Miss Hayworth is very lovely and does a fine job. " The Hollywood Reporter quoted. after Gene Ringgold: The Films of Rita Hayworth . Citadel Press, Secaucus 1974, p. 208.
  10. ^ " George Sidney directs in sleek style that perfectly complements the movie's star, Frank Sinatra. It's a classic Sinatra performance, detached and casual [...]. He's matched by gorgeous Rita Hayworth alternating between fire and ice, and, even though dubbed, making Zip a riot and Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered steam up the screen. Kim Novak is game, but she doesn't stand much of a chance up against these two. The songs, by Rodgers & Hart, are absolutely first-rate, and they're presented here to their best advantage. Overall, Pal Joey is a stylish and winning musical presented with a great deal of panache. "Craig Butler, cf.
  11. New in Germany . In: Der Spiegel , July 30, 1958.
  12. Pal Joey. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed May 25, 2019 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  13. cf.
  14. cf.
  15. cf.
  16. Pal Joey. In: German synchronous index , accessed on May 25, 2019 .