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Steve Rothaus

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In an interview, Janis Paige, the original stage star of The Pajama Game, said Jack Warner wanted to use as much of the original cast as possible but he knew that they would need a box office name to attract moviegoers. She said Warner told her if they could get a big name male lead then she could recreate her film role. If not, they'd try and get a name female star. The role was offered to Frank Sinatra, who turned it down and Paige lost out when they went with Doris Day. Essentially the same thing happened with Damn Yankees. They used the original Broadway cast but replaced Stephen Douglass with Tab Hunter who was popular at the box office then (though there's a rumor that Donen offered the Ray Walston role to Cary Grant). Thankfully, they kept Gwen Verdon and we have her marvelous performance on celluloid.

I interviewed Janis Paige, then age 93, in 2016. Here's what she told me about casting "The Pajama Game":

“The truth of it is that the film was offered to Frank Sinatra, who would have been a fantastic Sid,” Paige says. “Then they sent the script to Doris. The word out was they wanted to use as many members of the original company as they could. So if Frank had accepted the role, I would have done Babe. And if Frank turned it down and Doris took it, then John Raitt would have done it, which is exactly what happened.”

 

roxy1927

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Warner said my 4 for 44 went out this morning ups. Placed order early Thanksgiving week. They are in CA. I am on the east coast. Wonder if I'll get it by Christmas.
 

Thomas T

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Warner said my 4 for 44 went out this morning ups. Placed order early Thanksgiving week. They are in CA. I am on the east coast. Wonder if I'll get it by Christmas.

The Archives "warehouse" isn't in California. I stand to be corrected but their discs are shipped from somewhere in the mid-West. Illinois?
 

ahollis

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I saw the 2006 revival on Broadway of Pajama Game and amazingly at the end of that show Harry Connick Jr. introduced Janis Page and had her come up on stage. She received a standing ovation and talked briefly about the original run. A night etched in memory
 

Mike Frezon

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Even though I miss the cut numbers, and I find "Once A Year Day" the worst choreographed number in motion picture history, I love this film. So happy about its Blu-ray release.
I think there's quite a bit of competion for that.

And I always thought the winner was Mitzi Gaynor's "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy" from South Pacific. :D
 

David Weicker

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Even though I miss the cut numbers, and I find "Once A Year Day" the worst choreographed number in motion picture history, I love this film. So happy about its Blu-ray release.
I think there's quite a bit of competion for that.
I'm pretty sure most of the 'dances' in Annie '82 would surpass it.
 

MatthewA

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Those all look like the New York City Ballet compared to the mess Jeffrey Hornaday made of A Chorus Line made worse by Sir Richard Attenborough's insistence on shooting in Super 35 rather than a proper widescreen format, only salvaged by someone's influence (possibly Norman Lear's?) keeping the gay bits from getting straightwashed. Trying to update it to 1985 actually made it seem more dated than an original that was only 10 years old by that point. And when the best thing about it is Audrey Landers singing "Dance 10 Looks 3" while her dancing needed a stand-in … hoo boy! At least French and Saunders gave it a nice raking over the coals:

 
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roxy1927

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I would throw in Les Damoiselles de Rochefort. While a wonderful film except for the Kelly bits the choreography is especially bad.
 

Ethan Riley

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Was Pajama Game once PD? I've seen dvds of it in Walmart $1 bins.

I also think Damn Yankees would be the most amazing follow up for the Archives, if they can do it.
 

MatthewA

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It might be too much to expect them both in a single year.

But it's more than that other major studio in Burbank would do.
 

roxy1927

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The Archives "warehouse" isn't in California. I stand to be corrected but their discs are shipped from somewhere in the mid-West. Illinois?
When I talked to the order department they told me they were in CA.
When I checked UPS tracking it said my order was in IL.
 

ahollis

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Their order department probably is in CA, but they have a deal for shipping from a company in IL. All of mine are shipped from there and the return address does not mention WAC. Just say Fulfillment.
 

ahollis

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I also remember some where in this thread that it was reported that WAC said their shipping would be behind due to COVID19 restrictions. I know with the titles they are releasing we want them now, but this is how it is at the present.
 
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roxy1927

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Yes which is why I'm no longer expecting the two orders I have pending to be delivered on the dates I was given. As I said The Pirate dates are all over the place and can change in a moment.
 

cinemel1

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Did you dance on top of an overturned boat, Anthony?! :laugh:

Her vocal is fine. It's the choreography that IMO is rather...lacking. :D

Talking about dance numbers in films: I never saw the stage version of Pajama Game. I always wondered if Hernando’s Hideaway was a big dance number on stage. The film‘s song just ends with no dancing. It’s surprising since Hernando is a tango and the song was a big hit (along with Hey There). Carol Haney is a dancer and has choreographed and directed. Dancing would have been a plus there.
 

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