Billy Rose's Jumbo

( 1 )

Overview

Inasmuch as the spectacular Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart Broadway musical Jumbo was written in 1935, this 1962 film version can't help but seem a little quaint. Still, the film features the original production's star Jimmy Durante, energetically recreating his stage role as circus owner Pop Wonder; it is Durante's bravura performance that saves the film from dullness. Threatened with foreclosure, Pop Wonder and his pretty daughter Kitty Doris Day put their fates in the hands of go-getter Sam Rawlins Stephen ...
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Overview

Inasmuch as the spectacular Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart Broadway musical Jumbo was written in 1935, this 1962 film version can't help but seem a little quaint. Still, the film features the original production's star Jimmy Durante, energetically recreating his stage role as circus owner Pop Wonder; it is Durante's bravura performance that saves the film from dullness. Threatened with foreclosure, Pop Wonder and his pretty daughter Kitty Doris Day put their fates in the hands of go-getter Sam Rawlins Stephen Boyd. What they don't know is that Sam is the son of Pop's biggest rival Dean Jagger, and he's been sent to undermine the Wonder Circus. It goes without saying that Sam turns the tables on his dad, thereby saving the day and winning Kitty's hand. Martha Raye shows up as Lulu, a fortune teller who can't figure out what's going to happen next funny, we can. And of course there's Jumbo the elephant, who figures into the film's funniest scene as well as one of Jimmy Durante's most celebrated punchlines. Old MGM musical hands Charles Walters and Busby Berkeley share directing chores, but somehow the film hasn't the panache of their earlier work. Happily, most of the Rodgers-Hart songs are retained, including "My Romance" and "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World"-not to mention a few Rodgers-Hart tunes borrowed from other show, e.g. "This Can't Be Love."
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A throwback to an earlier, simpler era, Billy Rose's Jumbo is a moderately entertaining musical, the slender plot of which cannot support the elephantine proportions of its production. The spectacle is certainly impressive; a lot of money was spent on re-creating some marvelous circus acts and settings, but they only seem to point up how skimpy and dull the screenplay is. While the musical numbers are bright and peppy, too much of the dialogue scenes are dull, and the pacing lags. Even perennially perky Doris Day seems a little lacking in energy. Fortunately, the Rodgers and Hart score is glorious, and well served by Day, Martha Raye and Jimmy Durante, whose rendition of "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" is delightful. Stephen Boyd looks good but is terribly wooden, and seems visibly uncomfortable during many of the musical moments. Fortunately, Raye and especially Durante provide enough comic moments to help make up for Boyd's lifelessness. Charles Walters' direction is hesitant, but Busby Berkeley's staging of the musical numbers - especially the opening, with its dizzying final shot -- is first rate. As a result of Jumbo's box office failure, Day was passed over for lead roles in The Unsinkable Molly Brown and The Sound of Music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/8/2013
  • UPC: 883316745205
  • Original Release: 1962
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: Full Frame
  • Sound: DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound
  • Time: 2:04:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 27,835

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Doris Day Kitty Wonder
Stephen Boyd Sam Rawlins
Jimmy Durante Pop Wonder
Martha Raye Lulu
Dean Jagger John Noble
Joseph Waring Harry
Lynn Wood Tina
Charles Watts Ellis
James Chandler Parsons
Robert Burton Madison
Wilson Wood Hank
Norman Leavitt Eddie
Pat Anthony
Billy Barty Joey
Jack Boyle Reporter
Sue Casey Dottie
Roy Engel
John Hart Marshal
Ralph Lee Perry
Janos Prohaska
Otto Reichow Hans
Grady Sutton Driver
Sydney the Elephant Jumbo
Paul Wexler Sharpie
Robert B. Williams Deputy
Technical Credits
Charles Walters Director
Preston Ames Art Director
Busby Berkeley Choreography
William H. Daniels Cinematographer
George W. Davis Art Director
Richard W. Farrell Editor
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Henry W. Grace Set Decoration/Design
Morton Haack Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert R. Hoag Special Effects
Hugh Hunt Set Decoration/Design
J. McMillan Johnson Special Effects
Martin Melcher Producer
Joe Pasternak Producer
Sidney Sheldon Screenwriter
George Stoll Score Composer
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Jack P. Wilson Makeup
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2003

    A wonderful movie for the entire family

    I can't believe that I hadn't seen this movie before. It's wonderful in every way. Great cast, great songs, funny scenes, romance...suspense. This movie has it all. And, it's a great movie the entire family can enjoy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews