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Employees of the Sleeptite Pajama Factory are looking for a whopping seven-and-a-half cent an hour increase and they won't take no for an answer. Babe Williams is their feisty employee representative but she may have found her match in shop superintendent Sid Sorokin. When the two get together they wind up discussing a whole lot more than job actions!
In Iowa, Mr. Hasler, the penny-pinching boss of Sleeptite Pajama Factory, opposes his employees' demand for a seven-and-a-half-cent raise. After hiring Sid Sirokin as trial superintendent, Hasler asks his secretary Gladys Hotchkiss to show Sid around the plant. Seeing his girl friend Gladys with Sid, Vernon "Hinesie" Hines, Sleeptite's foreman and "time study man," imagines she is flirting with him and vents his jealousy by yelling at his staff to "hurry up," making normally efficient employees feel like they are racing with the clock. Two days later, while trying to get a lazy young man to do his job, the hardworking Sid, who is anxious to keep his job, impatiently shoves him. The man then complains to the Grievance Committee that he is in great pain because Sid hit him. The committee, chaired by Catherine "Babe" Williams, investigates the claim and Sid, although attracted to Babe, finds himself at odds with her, because of her strict adherence to the "rules." Later, after the company nurse reports that young man is a "faker," the committee drops the case. The strong and handsome Sid has made an impression on the females in the company, who note that Babe, too, seems taken with him. As Babe adamantly denies this, she accidentally falls into Sid's arms. Hinesie again gets jealous when he sees Gladys leave a note on Sid's desk, until he discovers the note discusses payroll. After Gladys sarcastically tells Hinesie that the dollar amounts mentioned mean "I love you" in Morse code, the ashamed Hinesie promises to end his jealous outbursts, and Gladys, doubting him, threatens that someday she may give him a reason to be jealous. Hasler insists on keeping the company account book well-hidden, so when he finds it laying on an office table, he scolds Gladys, even though the book is securely locked by a key she keeps around her neck. To lure Babe in his office, Sid asks his secretary, Mabel, to summon the Grievance Committee on the pretext of settling the complaint. When she arrives, Sid asks Babe for a date, but she refuses, because it would be a conflict of interests. After she leaves, Sid dictates a memo on his recorder, but is soon thinking about Babe, trying to convince himself to forget about her. At the annual company picnic, everyone is giddy and just a bit wild. A usual event at the picnic is Hinesie's old vaudeville knife-throwing demonstration, but, because he is drunk, when he asks for someone to stand against his target board, only the impetuous Babe volunteers. The onlookers cringe when Hinesie's aim is askew, but most frightened is Sid, who intervenes and takes Babe for a walk. As they stroll, Sid announces that he is instituting a new policy in which they will get along with each other, then kisses her and asks her to "be his girl." She agrees, and that night takes Sid to her home, where she lives with her father, a railroad worker whose hobby is stamp collecting. After her father leaves to work a night shift, Sid refuses to make small talk and tells Babe that he loves her. Although Babe admits that she loves him, she explains that they have two problems: the union, to which she is dedicated, and the workers' demand of seven-and-a-half cents. Sid cannot believe that these issues will affect their relationship because their love is greater than that of other well-known lovers throughout history. When the committee, led by union leader Prez, meets with Hasler to discuss the raise, arguing that other companies have already given their workers the same increase, Hasler stalls them, saying he must talk to the company's board of directors. Guessing that Hasler has no intention of agreeing to their demand, the union leaders tell the workers to slow down production. Hinesie notices immediately what is happening and calls for Sid, who threatens to fire anyone who does not produce a full day's work. Seeing her coworkers frightened into submission, Babe jams the machinery lines, causing a temporary shutdown, and Sid fires her. Later at a union meeting, Prez urges the workers, who are considering a strike, to "get hot" for their union. At a strategy meeting held at Babe's house, the union leaders consider "constructive" ways of convincing Hasler to reconsider, such as mismatching the sizes of pajama top and bottom sets, and Prez promises to make sure that there will be complaints about the buttons on pajama bottoms. After they leave, Sid, who Babe has avoided for three days, comes to call. They argue, and when she asserts that she must stand up for the workers, he responds that he needs to keep his job. She goes to her room, leaving Sid with her father and his stamps, but behind her closed door, she mourns their relationship. At work, as the rift between management and workers widens, the company loses contracts. An annoyed salesman, using Hinesie as a model, demonstrates how the buttons on pajama bottoms have not been on sewn on properly, causing them to fall off at inopportune times. Angered by the sabotage, Hasler refuses Sid's suggestion of compromise. Wanting to find a solution, Sid asks Gladys out to dinner, hoping to get access to the account book, and she suggests they go to a riverfront dive, Hernando's Hideaway, where no one will recognize them. Much to their surprise, many of their coworkers are there, too. After getting inebriated, Gladys confesses an interest in Sid, who tells her frankly that he has asked her out to get the key to the account book. When he sees Babe enter the establishment, he confides to Gladys that he is depressed. To make him feel better, the besotted Gladys gives him the key. Babe warns Gladys that Hinesie has discovered she is with Sid and is looking for her, armed with his knives. After Gladys passes out, Sid explains why he is with her, but Babe will not listen. A union rally has been scheduled for the next day to declare a strike, but after looking at the account book, Sid asks the union leaders to delay their announcement until he can talk to Hasler. Gladys, who is running through the factory dodging Hinesie's knives, begs for Sid's help. Before Sid can come to her rescue, he, too, becomes the target of Hinesie's vengeance. When Hasler arrives and sees a knife stuck in the wall, he assumes that the workers have hired an "Al Capone mob" to murder him. Sid grabs Hinesie and confiscates his knives, then asks Gladys to take him away. He then tells Hasler that he has seen the account book and knows that the seven-and-a-half-cent raise has already been approved by the board and figured into the costs for the last six months. At the rally, Prez and the other workers are computing what the seven and a half cents an hour, multiplied over several years, can buy for them and conclude that it will be enough for them to live like kings. Hasler, accompanied by Sid, arrives and suggests a compromise: he will approve a seven-and-a-half-cent raise, if they will not claim retroactive pay. As the workers cheer their victory, Babe and Sid reunite. Later, the workers throw a pajama party as a demonstration of the renewed harmony within the factory, during which they stage a "fashion parade" of pajamas.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||New York and Los Angeles openings: 29 Aug 1957|
|Release Date:||1957||Production Date:||
A George Abbott--Stanley Donen Production
AFI Library*; EB
|Color/B&W:||Color (Warnercolor)||Distributions Co:||Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.|
|Sound:||Mono (RCA Sound System)||Production Co:||Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.|
|Duration(mins):||101 or 108||Country:||United States|
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I agree with RS
I have a wonderful memory of Pajama Game. My best friend and I who were eleven at the time, saw it at our local theater in 1957. It was a high spirited...
One of the Greatest Musicals of All Time
This film is incredibly under-rated. It remains one of the most witty and enjoyable, fast-moving musicals of all time. A great example of Warner Bros....