Pillow Talk appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Expect an erratic image.
For the most part, sharpness looked fine, though softness materialized at times. Some of this connected to photographic techniques like split screens, but other soft shots lacked obvious explanations. Nonetheless, the movie usually displayed positive delineation.
No issues related to jagged edges or moiré effects popped up, but moderate edge haloescrept into the picture at times. No print flaws materialized and a fair amount of grain appeared, but opticals occasionally felt “scrubbed”.
Colors veered toward the natural side of the street, though a blue/teal impression manifested during office scenes. Otherwise the hues seemed fairly broad and lively, though some interiors could come across as a bit dull.
Black levels also appeared deep and rich, while shadows were nicely detailed and concise. A mix of good and bad, the image felt like a “C+”.
The DTS-HD monaural soundtrack of Talk seemed fine for its vintage and ambitions. Speech suffered from awkward looping at times, but the lines were always intelligible and lacked obvious flaws like brittleness.
Music seemed reasonably full and accurate, while effects showed decent clarity and accuracy. A romantic comedy such as this didn’t open itself up for sonic fireworks, so don’t expect much, but the audio fit the story.
We get a mix of extras, and these open with an audio commentary from film historians Jeff Bond, Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cultural elements, cast and crew, and some production specifics.
Whereas most film historian commentaries offer nuts and bolts about cast/crew and the shoot, this one tends more toward a view of the film through its social place and its era. We get a mix of good notes in that realm along with enough details about the film’s creation to make this a pretty engaging discussion.
Two movie-focused featurettes appear, and Back in Bed runs 21 minutes, 58 seconds and involves notes from film historians Samantha Cook, Daniel M. Kimmel and David Thomson, and English professor Judith Roof.
“Bed” examines the movie’s era and story/characters/themes, cast and performances, and aspects of its success/legacy. Though some of “Bed” looks at the film’s production, it mostly puts the flick in a historical/cultural perspective, and it does well in that regard.
Chemistry 101 lasts five minutes, 13 seconds and involves Cook, Thomson, and Kimmel. “101” examines the Day/Hudson combo in this short but fairly interesting reel.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we get three featurettes under the 100 Years of Universal banner. “Restoring the Classics” goes for nine minutes, 13 seconds and offers statements from Universal Studios Vault Services VP of Image Assets/Preservation Bob O’Neil, Universal Studios Technical Services VP Peter Schade, Kodak Pro-Tek Media Preservation VP of Preservation Services Rick Utley, Universal Studios Digital Services engineer Henry Ball, Universal Studios Technical Services mastering supervisor Phil Defibaugh, Universal Studios Technical Services mastering supervisor Ken Tom, and Universal Studios Technical Services supervising sound editor John Edell.
“Restoring” covers all the procedures used to bring Bride and other movies to Blu-ray. It’s a reasonably informative take on the subject.
With “The Carl Laemmle Era”, we find an eight-minute, 41-second piece that includes notes from Hollywood Left and Right author Steven J. Ross, NBC Universal Archives and Collections director Jeff Pirtle, Moguls and Movie Stars writer/producer Jon Wilkman, Early Universal City author Robert S. Birchard, and niece Carla Laemmle.
The show offers a quick biography of Universal founder Carl Laemmle. While this is an interesting and efficient overview, I’d like to see a more detailed look at a Hollywood pioneer.
Finally, “Unforgettable Characters” spans eight minutes, 18 seconds. It features a slew of movie snippets as a narrator tells us about different Universal roles. It’s mildly entertaining but it essentially exists as an advertisement.
In 1959, audiences ate up the romance and comedy of Pillow Talk. I can’t figure out why, as they much-touted duo of Doris Day and Rock Hudson fail to ignite this mediocre flick. The Blu-ray brings erratic picture with generally positive audio and a reasonably positive array of bonus materials. Talk becomes a forgettable stab at a rom-com.