ARTICLES

 
The Creative Use of Music in the film PILLOW TALK
By
Sally B. Drell
E-mail Sally at SallyDrell@aol.com

The subject of my article is the work of Frank DeVol, the talented film composer who received an Academy Award nomination in 1959 for the outstanding musical job he did scoring the film PILLOW TALK. Because of the category he was in, he didnít win; BEN-HURís score did. Let this article be a tribute, then, to Frank DeVol, who, in my opinion, also deserved an Oscar for his original comedy score for PILLOW TALK. 

Every film has its own unique message and mood. In Elizabeth Milesí book, Tune Your Brain, she claims that music can energize us, relax us, get us to focus better, heal, uplift, cleanse and boost creativity. Letís see how DeVol "tuned our brains" right from the beginning of PILLOW TALK. 

The music starts to play even before Doris Day begins to sing the title song. What we hear are a guitar and the sound of many hands clapping in a syncopated rhythm. As Ms. Day sings the theme song, we see two people, each in a separate bed, with their backs to the camera, playfully throwing brightly-colored pillows at the screen credits and at each other. The clapping of hands was an inspired idea, getting the viewers in sync with the movie and each other, quieting them down so they could focus on the words of the song and creating the general idea that something good was coming. Mr. DeVol didnít write the song "Pillow Talk" or any of the other songs sung in the film. (Various composers lent a hand.) But DeVol wrote the rest of the music, and refers to the other songwritersí compositions time and again in his score. Each "reference" evokes a mood, a laugh or makes some personal comment by DeVol about how he thinks the onscreen action should be perceivedóhumorously, romantically or seriously. 

The story line, expressed through the dialog in the screenplay, takes top priority in all films, according to experts in the field. The composer usually writes music that complements the words, (verbal and non-verbal combining for a more powerful effect on the viewer.) The composer usually sees the "final cut" of the film before beginning to work on the musical score. He or she "then sits down with the producer and director of the film and they all decide where the music should go in the film. This process, known as Ďspottingí the music, generally takes place during the screenings provided for the composer." (Prendergast, Roy: Film Music, A Neglected Art, p.239.) The technical process, according to Mr. Prendergast, involves synchronization of the music "so that things happen musically at precisely the right second or fraction of a second." (Ibid.) To achieve the ultimate blending of dialog and music, much of the work involves timing, even including the use of a metronome. Talking about timing leads us to a discussion of the unique use of musical timing in PILLOW TALK, which seems to be Mr. DeVolís most endearing artistic gift. 

Weíve already learned just during the rolling of the credits that its going to be a bright, colorful film, with Doris Day singing about the frustrations of not meeting the right man, a film with equally colorful music that has a sense of playfulness to it that uplifts us. There is a chorus of singers clapping and backing her up. Who are those people? And who is the man in the other single bed, wondering when heís going to find the right woman? These questions arouse our curiosity, and, voila, weíre eager for the story to begin. 

The engaging mood is continued by Doris, (Jan Morrow), as the first scene opens, by her humming the melody of "Pillow Talk" as sheís getting dressed in her luxurious bedroom. She plays an interior decorator, highly aware of time and a bit pressured. The music of "Pillow Talk" ends abruptly as she picks up her telephone. Rock Hudson, (Brad Allen,) shares a party line with her. He is a songwriter/playboy, and he is having a romantic conversation with a girlfriend at nine oíclock in the morning. Jan is irritated as he then begins to sing a love song to her as Jan is listening. Brad has one generic love song that he refers to as "our song" to each of his many girls, changing only the name of the woman to "personalize" it. Of course, he tells each that he wrote it for her alone. This song is important and DeVol uses it repeatedly in the score whenever he wants us to think of Bradís womanizing ways. It goes: "You are my inspiration, Eileen. A perfect combination, Eileen. Your eyes, your hair, are beyond compare, so is it any wonder? You captured me, and now Iím under your spell, Eileen." He accompanies himself at his piano. Jan, listening in, is forced to insist that he get off their party line so she can place a business call. He fights with her to stay on the line. She calls his behavior "revolting." Before Jan slams down the phone, she says, "Would you please get off this line!" After she hangs up, the music resumes a sprightly rendition of the Pillow Talk theme song. As if in time to the music, Jan quickly moves about her apartment, preparing for the arrival of her maid, Alma (Thelma Ritter.) Did you think, by the way, that film music runs continuously? It doesnít. In a movie that plays for an hour and a half, only one third of it requires music! Surprised? Film music starts and stops, depending on the "spotting" done by the composer, director and producer. In this case, Jan is not speaking as the music is playing, but is silently moving about. If there were no background music playing, the audience might get bored, or feel that the scene was insignificant. In this dialog-free interval, the audience is also given a chance to continue laughing, without missing any of the dialog, which is very amusing. Once again, after waiting a while, she lifts the receiver, and once again, she hears Brad singing "our" song, this time in French to a woman named Yvette. Jan listens, again, and then says, "Will you please get off this phone?" Yvette asks, "Who is that woman?" Brad simply says "Some little eavesdropperÖsheís always listening in. Itís how she brightens up her drab, empty life." Jan retorts by saying, "If I could get a call through once in a while, my life wouldnít be so drab," and gets ready to march to the Telephone Company. Sheís got spunk! 

As Jan waits impatiently for the elevator to arrive at her floor, it moves up in an exasperatingly slow way, giving DeVol a chance to emphasize her frustration by the use of five quick, rhythmic taps on a xylophone at regular intervals. This music, which I will call the "elevator theme" or "Harryís theme", is what we come to expect each time Alma, Janís maid, reports to work. The doors open, and Harry, the elevator operator, gently delivers a woozy Alma to the scene. We hear an "inebriation" motif, and Almaís faltering walk and pained facial expressions echo that. DeVol uses mainly string instruments to create a humorous effect, backed up by a couple of horns. When she takes off her hat inside Janís apartment, we see an ice pack already on her head. The sounds of "wah wah wah" played by a muted horn encourage us to laugh: this musical technique underlines the sight gag, and Mr. D used it to punctuate silent, comedic moments, as well as funny lines, throughout the picture. 

Transitional music transports Jan to her new locale: The Telephone Company. Cymbals, horns and an energetic melody complement a visual shot of a skyscraper. Mr. Conrad, an assistant manager with the Phone Company, explains that he canít give Jan a private phone for another month, even though she claims that the man on her party line is a "sex maniac." Jan is forced to accept Conradís decision, but he agrees to send an inspector to Mr. Allenís apartment to discuss the problem with him. If what Jan says is true, he tells her, they may be "forced to disconnect him." "Good," replies Jan. Unfortunately for her, the inspector he sends is a woman, and that, says Jan later, is "like sending a marshmallow to put out a bonfire." In short, the female inspector hears the tinkling of bells as she first gazes up at Bradís handsome face. The beginning notes of "You Are My Inspiration" are heard as she enters his lair. The slide of a descending scale suggests surrender. Jan, always hoping to win, tells her boss, Mr. Pierot, that she has reported "lover boy" to the Phone Company. And, as far as she is concerned, "whatever Mr. Allen gets, he has coming to him." (If she only knew.) 

Each time the elevatorís slow ascent theme is heard, the more frequently we laugh, because we know whatís coming next. Weíve made funny associations between the characters and their themes, which is something the composer has done intentionally to enhance our enjoyment. Mr. DeVol, who has won our trust with his accurate and amusing assessments of the leading players, is manipulating us. But itís a good kind of manipulation. After the initial full rendition of each song or theme, he need only use a fragment of it to get our subconscious associations rolling, and we find ourselves laughing more and more as the plot progresses. 

During another angry exchange over their party line, Brad informs Jan that the code number for their party line is 793, and that she should complain to him personally, not to the Phone Company. Music "spotted" here would detract from the dialog, as they are both angry and raising their voices. Brad accuses Jan of having a dirty mind and "bedroom problems." The background music used after they hang up is the "Pillow Talk" theme, played in a much slower, sympathetic orchestral form, and we know that Brad has hit a nerve in Jan. A bell chimes in her head as she sits before her mirror, pondering his comment, "bedroom problems." Her voice is heard, though her lips do not move. This vocalization of the charactersí thoughts is used throughout the film, mostly by Jan and Brad, but by some other characters, too, often with comic effect. 

In her work as an interior decorator, Jan naturally has many clients, some of whom become friends. Tony Randall (Jonathan Forbes) is one of them, and thereís an entertaining scene in his office, which Jan is decorating, where he proposes to her. "Jonathan," she says gently, "I donít happen to love you." He then kisses her, asserting that "love is a chemical reaction." As poor Jonathan pulls away from her after the kiss, DeVol uses a descending scale that ends on a sour note, and the corresponding look on her face evokes laughter, because we know the chemistry isnít there. "Well," says Jonathan, optimistically, "they didnít the moon with the first missile shot either." Jan laughs and says, "I guess thatís what I wantÖto hit the moon." 

Unbeknownst to both Jan and Brad, each is a friend of Jonathanís! When he visits Brad at his apartment, demanding to hear the songs for a Broadway show he is backing, Brad asks, "Whoís the girl?" Jonathan is shocked at his own transparency. Brad observes that Jonathan only gets ambitious when heís about to pop the question, and heís already had three divorces. "Well, there is a girl," says Jonathan sheepishly. "Brad, she is the sweetest, she is the loveliest, sheís the most talented person Iíve ever met." But Brad is cynical about women, and against marriage. Jonathan suddenly decides to call Jan, but when he gets a busy signal, he lets slip that she is having problems with her party line. "Whatís her name," Brad asks, nonchalantly. "Jan," replies Jonathan. "Jan Who?" Brad asks, but Jonathan refuses to give his loveís last name to his friend, the wolf. Jonathan pours out the whole story, that Jan and "some guy with a phone fetish" use the phone on alternate half-hours. This time, the chime goes off in Bradís head. While plying Jonathan with Scotch, he finds out she is pretty, with a good figure, and he is intrigued. Jonathan advises him to get married, finally asking him what he has against marriage, anyway. His line is a cue for the beginning of some of DeVolís clever, amusing music. "Jonathan," Brad begins as DeVol backs up his declaration of male independence with some woodsy, Great Outdoors music, "before he gets married, a man is like a tree standing in the woods, an entity unto himself. When he gets married, heís cut down, his branches are cut off, and heís floating down the river with the rest of the logs." A French horn is used primarily, evoking associations of space and freedom. Jonathan, after listening politely, still disagrees with Brad, saying, "With Jan, you look forward to having your branches cut off!" And with that, he exits accompanied by yet another descending scale. 

As soon as Jonathan is gone, Brad calls Jan and apologizes for his rudeness to her and suggesting they meet. "We might find out we have a lot in common," he says. She listens to his sweetest, most persuasive tones, and hears "You Are My Inspiration" in her head. 

She turns him down, saying, "Not that meeting you mightnít prove amusing," wiggling her shoulder, which DeVol emphasizes with the some wiggly music, "but some jokes are just too obvious to be funny." She hangs up, and heís left staring at the telephone receiver still in his hand. Jan and the other vocally gifted actors sometimes donít need much music in the background to support the characterís moods and feelings. So DeVol used the music judiciously, only when it described the atmosphere of the scene, or explicated a visual cue we may have missed while eating our popcornÖthe musical quality of the actorsí voices are often enough to satisfy us. 

Jan also attends housewarming parties as part of her job as an interior decorator. In one scene, she is at the home of the rich Mrs. Walters, whose house she has just finished redecorating in Scarsdale. Offscreen, a violinist and pianist lend an air of refinement to the scene by playing classical music. In this case, music is used to create a "classy" atmosphere. As Jan is getting ready to leave, Mrs. Waltersí son Tony enters the house. He is twenty-one, a "Harvard man" and "too modest," according to his mother, to be proud of being a Phi Beta Kappa graduate. Nick Adams played Tony, and he was an actor who died much too young. Mrs. Walters suggests that Tony drive Jan back to Manhattan, and although Jan protests, both Tony and his mother convince her to accept. "Thank you," says Jan, graciously, and Tony and she exit to the genteel strains of the music. Mrs. Walters, standing in the doorway of her opulent home, calls out, "Tony, donít drive too fast." 

"I wonít, Mother," he replies, as he and Jan tear away in his tiny sports car, the wheels screeching as he makes a turn. We say goodbye to gentility as he parks the car and begins to ravish Jan. She fights back, silently, but with great force. Only her threat of "belting a Phi Beta Kappa" as she shows him her gloved fist gets him to stop the attack. He then suggests they stop somewhere for a drink. "No," she says firmly, but as he resumes his advances, she yells out, "All right! Iím certainly in no condition for this." 

Back at Bradís apartment, the scene is quite the opposite. After Brad sings "You Are My Inspiration, Marie," his new girlfriend is in the mood for love. As they snuggle on the couch, Brad reaches easily for a nearby switch that simultaneously locks the door, closes the lights and starts the record player. Some slow, jazzy music begins as they kiss in a sensuous, leisurely way. Poor Jan. Doesnít she ever have any luck with men? Composer DeVol juggles these three scenes with ease, going from classical music from an external source in one scene, to a non-musical scene in Tonyís car, to jazz music in the next. I say "external" music as opposed to the "internal" music that comes from inside the characterís heads or the composerís as he watches the film. In one case, the external source is a classical duo; in the other, the source is a record. But each form of music is used with sensitivity, creating completely different moods in a matter of seconds. That demonstrates DeVolís astute perception of what will blend musically and scenically. Janís silent combat scene in the car with Tony is not backed up with music. Is Tonyís car radio broken? 

Music can also be used to introduce a new scene, as when all four combatants converge, inevitably, at the Copa Del Rio, a nightclub. A colorfully dressed band is playing some Latin dance music. Bongos, a guitar, a bass, an accordion and a trumpet are all visible, providing more external music. DeVol swings us into yet another mood through another change of music. Dozens of people are dancing happily. We follow Brad and Marie as they arrive and make their way to their table, which just happens to be adjacent to that of Janís and Tonyís. As Brad lights a cigarette, he overhears the name "Jan" as Tony speaks to her. Then he listens. Tony says, "A Harvard man never resorts to getting a woman drunk unless itís an emergency. And you, Miss Morrow, are an emergency." Bradís eyes light up. Itís her. He wants to see her face, but canít, until Tony insists on a dance. He promises Jan he will go home after just one dance. Resignedly, Jan complies. As she dances, her hips undulating in time to the Latin music, Bradís eyes scan her body from head to toe. He notices her shapely bottom, and comments to himself, "So thatís the other end of your party line." As she makes a turn, their eyes meet, and the mutual attraction is instantaneous. 

As Brad muses, "How are you going to get on friendly terms with that?" Marie, his date, says in her Southern accent, "Anything wrong, Darliní?" No, he replies, coming back to reality. He glances at his watch and tells her itís time for her to slip into her costume, as she is a showgirl at the Copa. As she leaves, he waves good-bye and continues to think about a strategy that would work on Jan. He knows she hates him and would never speak to him if he told her his real name. As he thinks, the Latin music becomes muted and far away, as if he canít hear it. He only hears his own thoughts, and so do we, since we also hear his vocalized thoughts. Suddenly, he is hit by an inspiration! "Maybe you donít have to tell her, ĎHoney Lamb,í" he says to himself, imitating Marieís accent. When Tony finally passes out on the dance floor from drinking, Jan cannot revive him, and looks around desperately for help. Seeing his golden opportunity, Brad rushes over to her and with a thick Texas accent, he introduces himself as Rex Stetson, a visitor from Texas. He offers to help her with Tony. "Rex" swings Tony easily over his shoulder, and they leave the nightclub and deposit him in a cab. Jan gives the driver the Scarsdale address, and Jan and Rex (Brad) are alone at last. 

Rock Hudson, as Rex, does an excellent job of maintaining his Texas twang for a long time. Composer DeVol, who now introduces a new Western theme, complete with the sounds of horsesí hooves and harmonica, supports him in his efforts to create his new persona. Images of prairies and slow horseback riding fill our mindsÖand Janís, as they move towards Tonyís car. Already, he has told Jan that in Texas, they say, "Never drink anything stronger than you are, or older." He calls her "Maíam", uses the phrase "Yíare" for "you are," says, "I reckon," "feller" and other assorted corny words and phrases that make even Brad wince. "Shucks," he comes across as a "safe" gentleman. 

When Rex sees the tiny car, he says that back home theyíve got "Jackrabbits bigger than that." Brad, at 6í 6", is too big to fit into it. Gamely, he tries to get in, and harmonica music, a xylophone and brushes on a drum suggest the acrobatics he has to go through to get into the car. He winds up with one leg dangling out the window. "Tick, tick, tick" goes the music, as Brad swings his leg. This reminds me of the metronome used by DeVol in his scoring of the film, and may have been an "in" joke to other film composers. Another "in" joke, relating to songwriters, is the use of the word "scoring" by Jonathan in a later scene. This double-entendre relates to Bradís thinking of sexually scoring with Jan, while Jonathan is thinking of musical scoring. Sometimes you wonder if Mr. DeVol identifies with Brad, being irresistible to women and all, and both being musicians. By the way, Frank DeVol did not look anything like Rock Hudson, so any such association was most imaginative on DeVolís part. But, as they say, moving right alongÖ 

"Rex" and Jan decide Tonyís car isnít going to get them anywhere, so they hail a cab. They spend a few uncomfortable moments adjusting to each other as they sit in the back seat, with DeVolís music adding nothing in the way of help to cover the the awkwardness, but rather emphasizing it by the use of sporadic musical phrases that do nothing to prompt conversation. All they do is laugh at the prior scene in the car. A lot of  "silent" vocalization reveals their attraction to each other in highly positive ways. 

Jan blurts out, "You married?" and then says to herself, "You idiot! What are you trying to do, scare the man away?" Rex responds, "No, Maíam, Iím not." He sees her sensitivity to saying the wrong thing, so he says, looking out the window at New York, "All those buildinsí filled with people (Ďpypleí, in his twang.) Kind of scares a country boy like me, you know it?" Then he averts his head and closes his eyes, praying for the strength to continue his act. She is reassured that he is more gauche than she is, and gradually relaxes as he lulls her into a state of blissful security. They arrive at her apartment, talking away in the elevator, with the awkwardness a thing of the past. He declines her invitation to come in for coffee, the Western music still playing, and says itís way past his usual bedtime. The music turns romantic as he says no. He shakes her hand and says "bye." 

She panics, and explains that she might be able to "help him" adjust to New York, and gives him her phone number. He memorizes it, and as he steps into the elevator to leave, is thinking, "Iíd say five or six dates ought to do it," and the muted trumpet goes wah, wah, wah. Jan, on the other hand, tells herself, "Itís so nice to meet a man you feel you can trust." 

She thrashes in bed miserably, worrying about whether or not her liked her, and DeVol has some agitated chords play so we can feel what sheís feeling. Suddenly, the phone rings, and itís Rex calling, along with his Western music motif. He invites her to dinner the next evening, and sheís in heaven. Then, unexpectedly, Brad presses the buttons on the phone and says "Öis anybody there?" Jan answers yes, in a brusque way, and he says, "Okay, but youíre on my half hour." Then, as Rex, he asks her, "Who was that? He sure isnít very well-mannered." Jan explains he isnít even worth talking about, and gets comfy again, asking him to continue what he was saying. And what does he say? Being near her is "like beiní round a pot-bellied stove on a frosty morniní." A moment of silence follows, with DeVol easing the tension by playing three slowly descending notes on a player piano, the fourth note coinciding with her response, "Oh, Rex, what a lovely thing to say." On that "note" they get off the phone. A minute later, it rings again, but this time itís Brad, who says he couldnít help hearing part of her conversation, and warns her that "Rex" is a phony: a "ranchhand Romeo." As he puts it, Rex is "only trying to lure [you] into the nearest barn." He predicts that Rex will take her to dinner, dancing, and then find some excuse to go to his hotel room. "And that, Miss Morrow, is where the payoff comes." Infuriated, she says coldly, "Good night, Mr. Allen." 

The following night, Rex takes her to dinner, and the background music of the Pillow Talk theme swells and ebbs. They then go dancing, the rhythm good for slow dancing. We notice the use of a harp for the first time. Jan is having a great time, until Rex drives to his hotel room, and asks her to come up to his room with him so he can pick up his coat. Some chilling music plays as she stops laughing from a joke he told her, and she immediately thinks, "Uh-oh, the payoffÖ" 

She stands outside the threshold of his room as if going to the gallows, while DeVol inserts some sexy saxophone theme that reeks of illicit sex and grade-B movies. She enters, cautiously, as if thereís danger ahead. When he says "Come over here," she does, to the eerie notes of a discordant melody that reminds you of "The Fly." But all Rex does is show her his "romantic" view of Central Park. "Well," he says, picking up his coat, "letís go." The few seconds of some downward dark music is heard, almost as if Jan is disappointed, but itís instantly followed by upwardly soaring music, and sheís flooded with relief that "Brad" was wrong about Rex. Thus reassured of his honorable intentions, she confesses that the reason she came up was to see if he would try to proposition her, but he acts so wounded, she immediately apologizes and begs his forgiveness. Graciously, he does so. What a nice guy. The Western theme plays as he says, "liviní in bear country is bound to make you wonder about strange caves (pronounced "cyves.") 

Things going swimmingly on their first date. And, so, their romance begins, followed by several dates as she shows him New York City. A montage of different New York landmarks is in the background as Jan and Rex walk hand-in-hand to the Pillow Talk theme, which varies in mood, and suggests the time of day, depending on the instruments used, and the tempo of each rendition. She learns all about Texas, and believes in him completely. 

Jonathan is the only real fly in the ointment. After Jan breaks a date with him, he demands to know why. She is honest, and tells him about Rex Stetson. He grills her, while waving a pencil in her face, which he uses like a conductor uses his baton. {Another "in" joke, to other musicians watching the film.) He throws down his baton, I mean, his pencil, declaring that sheís in love with this cowboy. She admits it and then is stunned by her realization. Jonathanís next line is a cue for some "Iím in love," music to emphasize Janís mood, and she barely hears Jonathanís protestations. Rexís Western theme is played as he seemingly gives up, saying, "If itís Rex Stetson you want, I hope itís Rex Stetson you get." As sheís leaving his office, Brad is coming down the hall. To avoid being identified, he ducks into the first office he sees, without reading the sign that says "Obstetrics." In case someone doesnít know the meaning of that word, DeVol cues them by playing "Rock-a-Bye Baby." Women knitting as they wait to see the doctor are other visual cues. He asks the nurse for an appointment to see the doctor, claiming to have an upset stomach, but says a fellow canít be too careful. She runs to the doctor, saying a man wants to be examined by him. Rex leaves, as soon as he sees Jan disappear into the elevator. No music is played during this scene. The dialog and humor of the situation doesnít need support, especially when the obstetrician becomes angry at his nurse for letting Brad get away, and says, "Miss Resnick, medical science still has many unknown regions to explore." She looks stunned, and itís a very funny scene. 

Jonathan is on the phone to a detective agency before Brad comes in, giving them Rex Stetsonís name and demanding they begin to investigate. When Brad comes in, Jonathan is rushing out. Heís upset, and tell Brad that Jan has fallen for some Texan, and he plans to break it up. Now he knows Jan loves him, and is happy about it. But Jonathan is on the trail, and plans to ruin their relationship. 

As Jan prepares for yet another date with Rex, she receives a call from Brad Allen. He asks her to admit that her "Texas gentleman" is a wolf. When she tells him what happened at the hotel, he becomes perturbed. "Thatís even worse than I thought." She says, "What do you mean, worse?" He implies that Rex may be gay, if he hasnít made any overtures to her. "What a vicious thing to say," she answers. The speech Rock Hudson had to make about homosexuality being a laughing matter must have been one of the most difficult of his acting career. Yet he did a marvelous job of it, arousing her anxieties again. "Donít you think youíd better make sure?" he advises her. "You are sick," she tells Brad, and he laughingly hangs up. Rough scene, well done by Rock Hudson, who, as we know, died of AIDS several years ago. Oh, the pain of acting we moviegoers know so little aboutÖby the way, DeVol omitted music from the scene. 

Jonathanís search yields quick results. He is handed a photograph of Brad, and the detective says that that is Rex Stetson. Naturally, Jonathan is enraged. A call comes for the detective, who informs Jonathan that Brad and Jan have just entered a little club called "The Hidden Door." They leave the office, in hot pursuit. 

The next fifteen minutes have the heaviest concentration of music in the movie. First, a woman entertainer at the piano leads everyone in a sing-along called "Roly Poly", and itís a lively tune. Janís singing voice is naturally good, and she gets to sing a couple of stanzas alone. There is a groaning moment when Doris says, "Another one?" There is the syncopated clapping, and singing, and our question at the beginning of the film is answered. These are the people we were wondering about during the rolling of the credits! It doesnít take long for "Rex" to intimate that he may be gay, commenting on getting the recipe for the dip for his mother, and other assorted remarks along the same line. Because of Bradís remarks to her, she comes right out and asks him why, in all the time theyíve been going out, heís never tried to kiss her. Piano music is playing quietly in the background. A song called "I Need No Atmosphere" begins, and Rex kisses her right in front of everybody. This is a cue for the entertainer to begin singing, "I need no atmosphere when Iím with you. I need no rocket ship, no trip to the moon," then stops singing when she sees their passionate kiss. Doris is satisfied that "Rex" is not gay, and excuses herself to go to the "powder moonÖI mean, roomÖto fix my lipstick." Then, she pats his hand happily and leaves. Jonathan quickly rushes to Bradís side and tells him to get Jan home in a few minutes, so no one will be embarrassed. Then, says Jonathan, Brad is leaving for Jonathanís Connecticut home to work on songs. "Just put her in a cab," he advises seriously. Meanwhile, the entertainer overhears the whole conversation. 

When Jan returns, Brad tells her he has to go to Connecticut for the weekend. Within five minutes, theyíre discussing going away together, and she leaves to pack. The entertainer at the piano shakes her head back and forth and begins to sing, "You Lied." It goes, fittingly enough, "You lied, you dog, and youíll be sorry. You lied, you hound, and thatís not fair." Brad winks at her and the scene is over. 

At Bradís apartment, Jonathan grabs a handful of sheet music and pencils and gives them to Brad. "Hereís to make sure you do plenty of scoring up there." Brad replies, "Iíll do my best." And Jonathan, unaware of his plans, says, "Youíd better." There is much light, instrumental music in the background, belying the "seriousness" of Bradís straight face, mixed with the familiar "wah, wah, wah" of a horn as he turns from Jonathan to laugh as he pulls away from the curb in his convertible. Jonathan, satisfied that Brad is out of the picture, waves goodbye as DeVol has the orchestra play a fragment of "Iíve been working on the railroad." Jonathan salutes him as the tune is playingÖBrad, that is, not DeVol. Again, there is that "in" joke ambiguously used to remind us again of the composer, and his similarity to Brad. Please, Mr. DeVolÖwe know youíre working hard! 

Brad and Jan cross a bridge on their way to Jonathanís Connecticut place, and the wind is blowing her hair and ruffling the fur collar of her gorgeous coat as she looks forward to whatís about to happen. Feeling happy and sexy, she looks at Brad, and thinks "If you only knew what I was thinking." Doris Day is then given the opportunity to sing quite a sensuous song, although itís the "thought vocalization"method again. Itís called "Possess Me." Part of the lyrics will be enough to give you the general idea of Janís hopes. "Hold me tight, and kiss me right, Iím yours tonight. My darling, possess me. Tenderly, and breathlessly, make love to me, my darling, possess me." That is exactly what Brad is thinking, too. When they reach Jonathanís place, within minutes, theyíre on the couch, kissing passionately and drinking champagne. Jan is tipsy and Brad notices that the fireplace is burning low. He exits to get more firewood, "for later," he murmurs in her ear. On his way out, he notices a piece of sheet music is exposed, and hides it in his coat. 

When heís gone, Jan drifts around the place, until she notices his coat. She decides to put it on, luxuriating in the fact that itís his, she hugs herself after she puts it on. The music is an orchestral version of "Possess Me," and the strings and harmonica and the sound of a lone violin make the atmosphere most romantic, intertwining Janís theme with Bradís. Then a long flute solo comes, followed by the low notes of a bassoon, a low, dark, instrument. The solo violin continues until Jan finds the sheet music, and walks over to the piano to plunk out the tune. The violin resumes, then fades, and she plays the first few notes of "You Are My Inspiration," over and over, mystified that it sounds so familiar, yet she canít place it. Then Rex re-enters, his arms loaded with logs, and he unconsciously sings along with her playing, before he thinks. If you can picture the look on her face, itís something like this: the connection is made, her head jerks up in shock. DeVol rings a bell as it does, and she does a very slow take as she looks at him with the full realization that he is Brad Allen. A drumroll suggests the trapeze artist is about to fall off his high-wire act at the circus, and she runs, with agitated music following her, into the bedroom. Bradís harmonica seems to break, as it repeatedly inhales and exhales, without a melody attached to the sound. As the bedroom door reopens, Jan comes marching out wearing her coat and carrying her luggage, and the agitated music resumes. 

Some composers and critics say that film music should stay in the background, and be barely noticeable: not so with Frank DeVol. He makes his music almost a fifth character with a life of its own, it is occasionally so loud and obtrusive. Just then, Jonathan bursts in, and says, "Stop! His name isnít Rex Stetson, itís Brad Allen." Jan bitterly says, "I know that." She then asks Jonathan to take her home, but before she leaves, she says to Brad, "Bedroom problems. At least mine can be solved in one bedroomóyou couldnít solve yours in a thousand." She slams the door shut as she leaves, and Brad is left alone, accompanied by a sad variation of "You Are My Inspiration," mixed with downward chords to underline his sadness. In his arms, he cradles the chopped down logs he once mocked. He looks dejected and hopeless. Poor RexÖI mean poor Brad. 

There are twenty more minutes of PILLOW TALK, but I wonít ruin the ending for you by continuing. By now, you know how film music works, and can enjoy analyzing it for yourselves, if you choose to do so. Or you can simply bathe in the overall effect of film music and not separate it from the story, as I have had to do to illustrate my points. In any case, here is a good bibliography you might want to refer to if youíre interested in the subject of film music. Itís becoming a hot subject of interest at this particular time in film history, and in the month of January 1999, there were seven books on the art and craft of film music reviewed in the magazine, FILM SCORE MONTHLY. Here are some earlier books you might enjoy that I used in researching this article: 
 
 

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Boorstin, Jon MAKING MOVIES WORK, 1990 

Burt, George THE ART OF FILM MUSIC, 1994 

Harkness, John THE ACADEMY AWARDS HANDBOOK, 1999 

Miles, Elizabeth TUNE YOUR BRAIN, Using Music to Manage Your Mind, Body, and 

Mood, 1997 

Prendergast, Roy FILM MUSIC, A Neglected Art, 1977 

Öand, of course, the Internet: Various sources, including IMDb.