AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Pillow Talk
Alternate Title: Any Way the Wind Blows
Director: Michael Gordon (Dir)
Release Date:   Oct 1959
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 6 Oct 1959; Cleveland, IL opening: 8 Oct 1959; Los Angeles opening: 13 Oct 1959
Production Date:   10 Feb--mid-Apr 1959
Duration (in mins):   105 or 110
Print this page
Display Movie Summary

Cast:   Rock Hudson (Brad Allen [also known as Rex Stetson])  
    Doris Day (Jan Morrow)  
    Tony Randall (Jonathan Forbes)  
    Thelma Ritter (Alma)  
    Nick Adams (Tony Walters)  
    Julia Meade (Maria)  
    Allen Jenkins (Harry)  
    Marcel Dalio (Pierrot)  
    Lee Patrick (Mrs. Walters)  
    Mary McCarty (Nurse Resnick)  
    Alex Gerry (Dr. Maxwell)  
    Hayden Rorke (Mr. Conrad)  
    Valerie Allen (Eileen)  
    Jacqueline Beer (Yvette)  
    Arlen Stuart (Tilda)  
    Perry Blackwell (Perry)  
    Robert B. Williams (Mr. Graham)  
    Muriel Landers (Heavy woman)  
    William Schallert (Hotel clerk)  
    Karen Norris (Miss Dickenson)  
    Lois Rayman (Jonathan's secretary)  
    Don Beddoe (Mr. Walters)  

Summary: In New York City, interior decorator Jan Morrow shares a party phone line with songwriter Brad Allen, who continually ties up the line singing the same love song, “Inspiration,” to his many girl friends. When Jan’s complaints yield only disdain from Brad, she reports to the phone company that Brad is a sex maniac, prompting the manager to launch an investigation. The researcher, however, is a single female who is so immediately entranced by the handsome womanizer that she waives the complaint. Meanwhile, Jan refuses a gift of a convertible automobile from her wealthy client and would-be suitor, Jonathan Forbes. The next morning, Brad calls Jan and insinuates that it is her inactive sex life that causes her to hound him, after which she icily suggests a time-share arrangement under which they each use the phone for half of every hour. Alma, Jan’s drunkard maid, has been listening in, and now confirms Brad’s view that Jan needs a more active sex life. Jan, however, considers all her paramours lacking, including Jonathan. When he later proposes, she explains that he fails to make her “hit the moon” with passion. A frustrated Jonathan grumbles about Jan to Brad, who is an old friend and the writer whom Jonathan has hired to write a musical play. When Brad, who has never seen his party-line partner, recognizes her name, he is fascinated by Jonathan’s description of her many assets. Although he scoffs at Jonathan’s advice to curtail his playboy lifestyle in favor of marriage, Brad later calls Jan to apologize for his earlier behavior, growing even more intrigued when she remains impervious to his charms. That night, Jan attends a party hosted by her rich client, Mrs. Walters, whose college-age son Tony offers to drive Jan home. Once on the road, Tony attacks Jan with youthful fervor, forcing her to agree to accompany him to a club, where, unknown to her, she sits next to Brad and his date, Maria. After overhearing Jan’s name, Brad notes her lovely figure and schemes to seduce her, and knowing that she would never speak to him, devises a new identity: Rex Stetson, chivalrous Texas rancher. “Rex” soon enchants Jan, who is instantly attracted to the tall, apparently guileless country man. While she muses on his trustworthy appeal, he silently deduces that it will take him only five dates to sleep with her. Later that night, Brad hatches a plan to further endear Rex to Jan by calling and pretending to be first Rex and then Brad, interrupting to warn Jan that he has heard Rex on the line and considers him a rake. Jan sneers at Brad’s assumption but the next night, when Rex brings her to his hotel room, she is on guard. He merely retrieves his coat, however, causing her to beg his forgiveness for her untoward suspicions. They then take a hansom cab though the park, during which Brad’s handling of the horses delights Jan but horrifies the driver. At dinner, Brad spots Jonathan near the entrance and deters him from coming over to their table by tricking him into thinking he has an unattractive date. Brad and Jan spend the next few days together, enjoying each other so much that she agrees to break a date with Jonathan for him. Jonathan guesses correctly that Jan is in love with someone else, and although he wishes her luck, he hires a private investigator to look into his competition. Later, Brad avoids running into Jan in Jonathan’s hallway by stepping into an obstetrician’s office, where he startles Nurse Resnick and Dr. Maxwell by asking for an examination. Soon after, Jonathan’s investigator provides photos of “Rex” that compel Jonathan to confront Brad. He tails Brad and Jan to a club, where he clandestinely warns Brad to leave Jan and spend the next weeks secluded in Jonathan’s Connecticut home. Brad appears to be remorseful and conpliant but secretly asks Jan to accompany him to the country, where the couple enjoys a romantic rendezvous by the fire. Jan is eager to make love with Rex, but at one point discovers some sheet music and, upon playing it, recognizes the song as “Inspiration.” Realizing his ruse has been uncovered, Brad tries to proclaim his love to Jan, but just then Jonathan arrives and Jan flees with him to the city. Despite Jonathan’s desire to woo Jan, her constant sobbing on the ride home unnerves him. They stop at a diner, and after he slaps her to help her gain her composure, the appalled patrons assume he is a cad and knock him out. Three days later, a distraught Brad begs Jonathan to help him win back Jan, but when she visits Jonathan’s office and spots Brad, she dashes away. He follows her into the ladies’ room, managing once again to arouse the interest of Dr. Maxwell, who hopes Brad may prove to be the world's first pregnant man. Desperate, Brad turns to Alma, who calls herself “a devoted listener” to his phone calls and accepts his offer to go to a bar and discuss his situation with Jan. The next morning, a brutally hungover Brad recalls Alma’s advice to hire Jan to decorate his apartment, and schemes with Jan’s boss to manipulate her into accepting the job. Jan spends the next few days converting the apartment into a nauseating bachelor pad, complete with animal prints, hanging beads and a harem decor. When Brad sees it, he is infuriated and storms into Jan’s apartment, dragging her from her bed in her pajamas and carrying her to his apartment. Brad's brash behavior inspires Jan’s elevator operator to flirt with Alma. At Brad’s apartment, he launches into an angry tirade, of which Jan registers only that he wants to marry her. When he tries to stomp out, she flicks one of the switches she has installed, which locks the door from the inside. Finally understanding that she loves him, Brad sweeps Jan into his arms. Three months later, Brad returns to Jonathan’s building to announce Jan’s pregnancy, but is stopped by Nurse Resnick and Dr. Maxwell, who by intrigued at the scientific implications of Brad’s declaration that he is having a baby. 

Production Company: Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.  
  Arwin Productions, Inc.  
Production Text: Edward Muhl in charge of production
Distribution Company: Universal Pictures Co., Inc.  
Director: Michael Gordon (Dir)
  Phil Bowles (Asst dir)
  Jack Cunningham (Asst dir)
  Carl Beringer (Asst dir)
  John Sherwood (2d unit dir)
Producer: Ross Hunter (Prod)
  Martin Melcher (Prod)
Writer: Stanley Shapiro (Scr)
  Maurice Richlin (Scr)
  Russell Rouse (Based on a story by)
  Clarence Greene (Based on a story by)
Photography: Arthur E. Arling (Dir of photog)
  K. K. Towers (Cam op)
  John Thoeney (Asst cam)
  Mike Moromarco (Asst cam)
  Ed Estabrook (Stills)
  Tom Oulette (Gaffer)
  Harold Haselbusch (Best boy)
  Russ Frank (Grip)
  Al Harris (Grip)
Art Direction: Richard H. Riedel (Art dir)
Film Editor: Milton Carruth (Film ed)
  William Stevenson (Asst film ed)
Set Decoration: Russell A. Gausman (Set dec)
  Ruby R. Levitt (Set dec)
  Solly Martino (Props)
  William Laraby (Props)
Costumes: Jean Louis (Gowns for Miss Doris Day)
  Laykin et Cie. (Miss Day's jewels)
  Rosamond Lytle (Ward)
  Maria Pickering (Ward)
  Bucky Rous (Ward)
Music: Frank de Vol (Mus)
  Joseph Gershenson (Mus supv)
Sound: Leslie I. Carey (Sd)
  Robert Pritchard (Sd)
  Harold Tucker (Sd)
  James Rogers (Sd)
  Kenneth Wilson (Sd)
  Frank Morehead (Sd)
Special Effects: Clifford Stine (Spec photog)
  Roswell Hoffman (Spec photog)
Make Up: Bud Westmore (Makeup)
  Nick Marcellino (Makeup)
  Larry Germain (Hairstylist)
  Connie Nichols (Hairstylist)
Production Misc: Ernest Wehmeyer (Unit prod mgr)
  Edward Dodds (Unit prod mgr)
  Leon Charles (Dial coach)
  Dorothy Hughes (Scr supv)
  Dan Thomas (Unit pub)
  Betty Mitchell (Unit pub)
Color Personnel: Henri Jaffa (Col consultant)
Country: United States
Language: English

Songs: "Pillow Talk," words and music by Buddy Pepper and Inez James; "Roly Poly," words and music by Elsa Doran and Sol Lake; "I Need No Atmosphere," "Inspiration," "Possess Me" and "You Lied," words and music by Joe Lubin and I. J. Roth.
Composer: Elsa Doran
  Inez James
  Sol Lake
  Joe Lubin
  Buddy Pepper
  I. J. Roth
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Arwin Productions, Inc. 1/10/1959 dd/mm/yyyy LP18584

PCA NO: 19320
Physical Properties: Sd: Westrex Recording System
  col: Eastman Color by Pathé
  Widescreen/ratio: CinemaScope

Genre: Romantic comedy
Sub-Genre: with songs
Subjects (Major): Battle of the sexes
  Impersonation and imposture
  Romantic rivalry
  Telephone party lines
Subjects (Minor): College students
  Hansom cabs
  Interior decorators
  New York City
  Private detectives

Note: According to a 28 Aug 1959 “Rambling Reporter” item in HR , RKO originally bought the script by Russell Rouse and Clarence Greene, in 1942, but when it was not produced, the writers bought it back in 1945. In 1947, they sold it as a play, but bought it back once again four years later, finally selling it in 1958 to Arwin Productions, the company owned by Doris Day’s husband, Martin Melcher. Although the film was originally titled Pillow Talk , according to a 2 Feb 1959 “Rambling Reporter” item in HR , the title “displeased” the PCA and so was changed to Any Way the Wind Blows . In Aug 1959, however, the original title was reinstated. The picture was coproduced by Universal and Arwin. Pillow Talk marked director Michael Gordon's first film since the 1951 Twentieth Century-Fox production The Secret of Convict Lake (see below), after which he was among those blacklisted in the wake of investigations by the House Un-American Activities Committee.
       As noted in a 20 Mar 1959 HR news item, second unit director John Sherwood died of pneumonia during the shoot. Universal borrowed actress Valerie Allen from Paramount and costume designer Jean Louis from Columbia for the film. According to an Oct 1959 SatRev article, Jean Louis designed twenty-four costumes for Doris Day and Laykin et Cie. loaned the production $500,000 worth of jewels. Dwayne Hickman was originally cast as “Tony Walters,” but, as reported in a 3 May 1959 HR news item, he contracted a fever and was replaced by Nick Adams. In the film’s nightclub scene, Perry Blackwell sings two songs, “You Lied” and “I Need No Atmosphere.”
       Apr 1959 HR news items add Sheilah Rogers and Marion Nelson to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Another Apr 1959 HR item states that Hope Emerson was to play an Indian princess named Desert Flower, but she is not in the final film. Contemporary reviews noted the film's use of split screen technology during the scenes in which "Jan Morrow" and "Brad Allen" talk on their party line, as well as Rock Hudson's skill in his first comedic role. In her autobiography, Day stated that in the scene in which Hudson totes her through the New York streets, she was placed on a special shelf with hooks to make it easier for him to carry her. According to an 18 Aug 1959 HR news item, Hudson was to sing the film’s title song and “Roly Poly” for Decca Records, while Day had already recorded “Pillow Talk” for Columbia Records.
       Pillow Talk helped redefine Day’s image into what she described in her autobiography as “a new kind of sex symbol—the woman men wanted to go to bed with, but not until they married her.” The film’s popularity propelled Day and Hudson to the top of the box office charts and earned them Photoplay and Golden Globe awards as the most popular actors of 1959. It also ushered in a new wave of romantic, often suggestive comedies popular in the 1960s. The film marked the first of three collaborations between Melcher, Day, Hudson and Tony Randall for Universal, including Lover Come Back , 1961, directed by Delbert Mann, and Send Me No Flowers , 1964, directed by Norman Jewison (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ).
       Pillow Talk was listed on the NYT list of the 10 Best Films of 1959, and received the following Academy Award nominations: Best Actress (Day); Best Supporting Actress (Thelma Ritter); Art Direction, Color (Richard H. Riedel, Russell A. Gausman and Ruby R. Levitt); and Music Scoring, Dramatic or Comedy Picture (Frank de Vol). The film won the Academy Award for Writing, Story and Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Rouse, Greene, Stanley Shapiro and Maurice Richlin). Shapiro and Richlin were also nominated in 1959 for Operation Petticoat (see above). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Beverly Hills Citizen   14 Oct 1959.   
Box Office   17 Aug 1959.   
Box Office   24 Aug 1959.   
Daily Variety   12 Aug 59   p. 3.
Film Daily   12 Aug 59   p. 6.
Filmfacts   28 Oct 1959.   
Hollywood Reporter   12 Dec 1958   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Feb 1959   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Feb 1959   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Feb 1959   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Feb 1959   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Mar 1959   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Mar 1959   p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter   2 Apr 1959   p. 2, 4.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Apr 1959   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Aug 1959   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Aug 59   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Aug 1959   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   28 Aug 1959   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   4 Feb 1960   p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter   9 Mar 1960   p. 15.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   22 Aug 59   p. 380.
New York Times   7 Oct 59   p. 47.
Saturday Review   10 Oct 1959.   
Variety   12 Aug 59   p. 6.

Display Movie Summary
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
Advanced Search
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2017 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.