Mike Valla (Ralph Meeker) and his pal Dandy (Keenan Wynn) are a couple of amateur criminals who have decided to kidnap a movie star. Their victim? Laurel Stevens (Jane Russell), star of the appropriately-titled, brand-new release The Kidnapped Bride.
Laurel is an actress who likes to have total control over her career. She even co-produces her own films, bragging before the kidnapping that she owns 51% of her latest, and nit-picking the trailer until the studio edits it her way.
Mike and Dandy weren’t expecting quite a strong personality from the kidnapped lady. They take her to a hideout in Malibu, where she learns that they’re asking the studio for a $50,000 ransom… and she’s not shy in telling them that she feels she’s worth ten times as much!
Meanwhile, as they wonder where their starlet is, the Hollywood honchos in control of the film’s release try to keep the scandal out of the papers so it won’t look like a publicity stunt.
Norman Taurog directs 1957’s The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, a comedy written by Richard Alan Simmons from the eponymous novel by Sylvia Tate. The film was released by United Artists on a double bill with Lesley Selander’s Outlaw’s Son.
The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown is a decent but not remarkable comedy. It’s very predictable and doesn’t leave the audience hooting with laughter, but it works as light entertainment.
The script has a bit too much silliness to be believable. A change of hair serving to completely disguise a person is never believable. It wouldn’t work for Hannah Montana if she existed outside of the Disney Channel, and it wouldn’t work for a star of Laurel’s caliber if she existed in the real world either. Some viewers may also take issue with the fact that Laurel falls in love with one of her captors. These captors aren’t particularly violent or “evil,” but that doesn’t make the pairing acceptable.
Some of the dialogue is snappy, particularly from Jane Russell’s character, who is a lady with a very strong personality. Russell’s performance is the best of the film. She pulls off Laurel’s outspoken, commanding personality with ease.
The rest of the film’s performances are decent, but nothing to write home about. Ralph Meeker is a smidge too wooden as Russell’s love interest, Mike. He gives off an air of apathy, which makes it difficult for the viewer to care about the central romance of the film.
The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown might by worth a single watch for fans of late-’50s comedy, but I’m not sure I’d watch it again. It didn’t leave a huge impression on me, nor did it bring enough laughs. The score: 2/5