Top Banana

Overview

Shot on location in New York City's Winter Garden Theatre, this is essentially a filmed performance of Phil Silver's hit Broadway show in which he plays a moody and egotistical television comic (allegedly patterned after Milton Berle). Trouble begins when the ratings for Jerry Biffle's (Silvers) television show begin to sag. The producer spice up the show by adding sales clerk Sally Peters (Judy Lynn) and handsome young Cliff Lane (Danny Scholl) as love interests. Jerry falls in love with Sally, but Sally is in ...
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Note: This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. This disc is expected to play back in DVD Video "play only" devices and may not play back in other DVD devices including recorders and PC drives.

Overview

Shot on location in New York City's Winter Garden Theatre, this is essentially a filmed performance of Phil Silver's hit Broadway show in which he plays a moody and egotistical television comic (allegedly patterned after Milton Berle). Trouble begins when the ratings for Jerry Biffle's (Silvers) television show begin to sag. The producer spice up the show by adding sales clerk Sally Peters (Judy Lynn) and handsome young Cliff Lane (Danny Scholl) as love interests. Jerry falls in love with Sally, but Sally is in love with Cliff. The ensuing tension is most problematic for Jerry's every diplomatic personal assistant Vic Davis (Jack Albertson).
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
While Top Banana is moderately entertaining on its own terms, it is of primary interest to audience members with a real fondness for or interest in standard-issue Broadway musical comedies of the 1950s. Even with some deletions, it's hard to get more faithful to a stage version, as Banana is essentially a filmed record of the play, shot during performances using the original sets and costumes. Needless to say, this results in a film that is enormously static and of very little visual interest; combined with the style of humor on hand and the players involved, it sometimes seems as if one is viewing a very extended vintage segment of The Ed Sullivan Show. The script is just a collection of gags (many of them corny) strung along a loose plot line; the score is better, but a letdown, coming from the usually dependable Johnny Mercer. The film's biggest asset -- as was the case with the play -- is the inimitable Phil Silvers, giving a star comic performance that is polished yet effortless. Silvers is in full command of his performance, whether giving an incredibly extended take, casually tossing off insults or hammering home a gag line for all its worth. It's also fun to watch a young Rose Marie, although much of her part was cut from the final print. Banana is both a museum piece and a curiosity, but Silvers makes it amusing.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/12/2011
  • UPC: 883904251996
  • Original Release: 1954
  • Source: Mgm Mod
  • Presentation: Full Frame
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:24:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 44,872

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Phil Silvers Jerry Biffle
Danny Scholl Cliff Lane
Judy Lynn Sally Peters
Jack Albertson Vic Davis
Joey Faye Pinky
Herbie Faye Moe
Brad Hatton Mr. Parker
Emmaline Henry
Bill Joyce
Mara Lynn
Rose Marie Betty Dillon
Tommy Ryan
Arlen Stuart
Johnny Coy Tommy Phelps
Technical Credits
Alfred E. Green Director
William Bradford Cinematographer
Ron Fletcher Choreography
Albert Glasser Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Harold Hastings Musical Direction/Supervision
Mercer Songwriter
Ronald Sinclair Choreography
Gene Towne Screenwriter
Albert Zugsmith Producer
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