#6 of 501: Pal Joey

Rita, Frank & Kim
Rita, Frank & Kim

Cindy and I finally got around to watching the end of this movie last night. You may remember that we were interrupted by a power outage a few nights ago. We both have mixed feelings about the movie, and I’ll get to that in a moment.

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, we are spending time together watching movies taken from a book titled 501 Must-See Movies. There are a couple of things about the book that you should know. 1) There is no author’s name anywhere in or on the book. 2) It was first published in 2004, though I don’t believe there is a movie listed in it that was made after 2002. Oh, and my personal opinion is that whoever put the list together left out some fine movies and added some real dogs to the mix. But that’s just me.

Pal Joey is another movie that I hadn’t seen in decades, and then it was on (pre-cable) TV, so it had probably been cut to fit a specific time slot. But that’s OK because I only remember one thing from the movie. That was Frank Sinatra singing The Lady Is A Tramp. I am the first to admit that I have always liked the song, but until I saw the movie with the explanation in the dialog, I have never understood the song. And even now I’m not sure I understand all of the lyrics.


Another great song is bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered. It is supposedly sung by Rita Hayworth, but spoiler, it isn’t. Still, you get to see Ms Hayworth posing on a bed, reminiscent of one of her more famous pin-ups. I have to say that I like this version…but not as much as the Linda Ronstadt version. Do yourself a favor and look it up on YouTube.


Back to the movie. Cindy and I agree that it is a good movie with great music. In fact, if it wasn’t for the music, it wouldn’t be nearly as good. Cindy was especially disappointed in the ending. She said that part of it didn’t sense, and I have to agree. However, Cindy also wanted a Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland type ending. That would have been pleasant, but… Wait. Am I quibbling over degrees of realism in a 1950’s movie musical? Cindy’s right.