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Show Business

Show Business(1944)

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Remind Me

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The opening credit sequence of the film contains the following prologue: "In the colorful era of belles-bloomers-and beer in buckets-trouped ambitious groups of loveable hams known as show folks, all dreaming of the Big Time. In the burlesque theatres of those days were born many of today's great stars. Such a theatre was Miner's Bowery..." A New York Times news item adds that the first scene in the film was loosely based on Eddie Cantor's debut appearance at the Miner's Burlesque Theatre in 1908. According to a pre-production news item in Hollywood Reporter, Cantor was originally slated to script the picture, which was to star Cary Grant and Dinah Shore. This was Cantor's first producing credit for RKO.
       A news item in Hollywood Reporter notes that veteran vaudeville performer Pat Rooney came out of retirement to appear in the picture. Rooney, George Jessel, Gene Sheldon and Bert Gordon, doing his "mad Russian" routine, all shot material for the film, but were cut from final release prints. The opera selection performed in the film was done as a spoof. Another news item in Hollywood Reporter adds that the proceeds from the film's Los Angeles premiere went to the Wounded Soldiers' Fund of the Birmingham General Hospital in Van Nuys, CA. According to a post-production news item in Hollywood Reporter, in November 1946, writer Edwin O'Brien sued RKO for $25,000, alleging that the studio based this film on an idea that he submitted about vaudeville and the New York Palace Theatre. The outcome of that suit has not been discovered. In 1948, Cantor and Joan Davis were re-teamed as a retired vaudeville couple in the RKO film If You Knew Susie .