The Pajama Game

Doris Day stars in the 1957 musical “The Pajama Game” along with John Raitt, Carol Haney, and Eddie Foy Jr. The movie was based on the Broadway hit.

The story takes place in a pajama factory in Iowa where the new superintendent of the factory (Raitt) falls in love with the leader of the grievance committee (Day). Their love is put to the test when the workers demand a seven-and-a-half-cent raise, equal to the other factories in the region. But the boss (Ralph Dunn) refuses to give in, forcing the workers to decide to slow down production and turn out lesser-quality products in hopes of getting their well-deserved raise.

The raise issue pits Day against the man she loves, Raitt, and threatens to end their relationship. However other relationships in the company begin and thrive, pairing several of the workers in fun partnerships.

Along the way, there are song-and-dance numbers choreographed by Bob Fosse. The songs in this film include “Hey There,” “Hernando’s Hideaway,” “The Pajama Game” and many more. The musical number “Steam Heat” is typical Fosse, hats and all.

In the bonus features viewers learn that the reprise of “Hey There,” which was first sung in the film by Raitt and reprised by Day, was not originally going to be in the movie. Instead, Day filmed another song, “The Man Who Invented Love,” and that clip was recently discovered in the Warner Bros. vault. It is included among the bonus features in this new DVD. It’s a nice song, however, “Hey There” is a more memorable tune and has stood the test of time, so it was a good decision to use the reprise instead of the new song.

Another bonus has the history of the Broadway Play. As an understudy, young Shirley MacLaine was called upon to replace Carol Haney on stage and thanks to Haney’s illness, the part launched MacLaine’s film career. She is still going strong today.

“The Pajama Game” is part of the Warner Archive Collection and is available at its website or other online sites that sell DVDs.