There's No Business Like Show Business

There's No Business Like Show Business

4.0 2
Director: Walter Lang

Cast: Ethel Merman, Donald O'Connor, Marilyn Monroe

     
 

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Like Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938), 20th Century-Fox's There's No Business Like Show Business is a "catalogue" film, its thinnish plot held together by an itinerary of Irving Berlin tunes. The story chronicles some twenty years in the lives of a showbiz family, headed by Dan Dailey and Ethel Merman. Two of the couple's three grown children -- DonaldSee more details below

Overview

Like Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938), 20th Century-Fox's There's No Business Like Show Business is a "catalogue" film, its thinnish plot held together by an itinerary of Irving Berlin tunes. The story chronicles some twenty years in the lives of a showbiz family, headed by Dan Dailey and Ethel Merman. Two of the couple's three grown children -- Donald O'Connor and Mitzi Gaynor -- carry on the family tradition, while the third, Johnny Ray, decides to become a priest. There are a few tense moments when O'Connor falls in love with ambitious chorine Marilyn Monroe and loses all sense of perspective, but the family reunites during a splashy production-number finale. Highlights include Dailey and Merman's "Play a Simple Melody" duet, O'Connor's "A Man Chases a Girl" solo, and Monroe's tempestuous rendition of "Heat Wave" (her delivery and stage presence both compensate for her unflattering bare-midriff costume). Of historical interest, There's No Business Like Show Business was Fox's first CinemaScope musical; as such, it is best viewed on TV in "letterbox" format.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Big, colorful, and splashy, There's No Business Like Show Business might have been a classic movie musical if anyone had bothered to create a script for it. Oh, there's technically a script, but it clearly was just cobbled together from hither and yon -- and mostly yon -- so that the camera would have something to focus on between musical numbers. As a result, Business meanders around quite a bit, dropping in on one thread of a story just long enough for the audience to hear a few lines of clichéd dialogue before the orchestra starts vamping the intro to the next song. Fortunately, the songs are by the inimitable Irving Berlin, and they're handled by a cast that ranges from the technically qualified to the magical. The former includes a very wooden Johnnie Ray and a perky but dispensable Mitzi Gaynor, but the latter includes a clarion-voiced Ethel Merman, an impishly appealing Donald O'Connor, and the incredibly seductive Marilyn Monroe. (Dan Dailey falls in the middle, a good song-and-dance man and decent actor who nevertheless doesn't quite catch fire in this film.) Merman sounds terrific, sailing through "Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee" and "A Sailor's Not a Sailor" with glee, and O'Connor makes "A Man Chases a Girl" into something pretty special. But it's Monroe that provides the single most memorable number, a "Heat Wave" that sizzles, pops, burns and scorches like few other filmed songs. Add in some yummy costumes and nifty Leon Shamroy camerawork, and there's more than enough here to make up for the flimsy story.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/31/2012
UPC:
0024543817086
Original Release:
1954
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:57:00
Sales rank:
31,679

Special Features

Original Theatrical Trailers; More Monroe Movie Trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ethel Merman Molly Donahue
Donald O'Connor Tim Donahue
Marilyn Monroe Vicky
Dan Dailey Terrance Donahue
Johnny Ray Steve Donahue
Mitzi Gaynor Katy Donahue
Richard Eastham Lew Harris
Hugh O'Brian Charles Gibbs
Frank McHugh Eddie Duggen
Rhys Williams Father Dineen
Lee Patrick Marge
Eve Miller Hat check girl
Robin Raymond Lillian Sawyer
Lyle Talbot Stage manager
Alvy Moore Katy's Boyfriend
Chick Chandler Harry
Henry Slate Dance director
Nolan Leary Archbishop
Gavin Gordon Geoffrey
Mimi Gibson Katy at Age 4
Linda Lowell Katy at Age 8
Jimmy Baird Steve at Age 6
Donald Gamble Tim at Age 6
Charlotte Austin Lorna
Billy Chapin Steve at Age 10
John Doucette Stage Manager
Donald Kerr Bobby Clark
Isabelle Dwan Sophie Tucker
George Melford Stage Doorman

Technical Credits
Walter Lang Director
Robert Alton Choreography
Irving Berlin Score Composer,Songwriter
John De Cuir Production Designer
Henry Ephron Screenwriter
Phoebe Ephron Screenwriter
Ray Kellogg Special Effects
Charles LeMaire Costumes/Costume Designer
Lionel Newman Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Alfred Newman Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Leon Shamroy Cinematographer
Sol C. Siegel Producer
Robert L. Simpson Editor
William Travilla Costumes/Costume Designer
Lamar Trotti Original Story
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
Miles White Costumes/Costume Designer

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