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There's No Business Like Show Business

There's No Business Like Show Business(1954)

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  • One Of My Favorites

    • 4dogmama
    • 11/28/11

    This is one of my all-time favorite movies. I think Ethel Merman is a real hoot and love all of her costumes. Donald O'Connor is a joy and Marilyn Monroe is delightfully beautiful. But I can certainly do without Johnnie Ray. Oh brother was he a HAM!! And his singing style creeps me out.

  • I cried three times

    • Lizzy
    • 6/11/09

    I'm a toughie.The only time I've enever cried is when I was born and got my baby shots.But after seeing TNBLSB,I was in tears at the dramaticness-and awesomeness- of it.Highlights include Donald O'Connor KISSING Marilyn Monroe.UNBELIVEABLE!!

  • Giving us the business.

    • DougieB
    • 4/20/09

    20th really wanted to maximize what they had in Marilyn, but they appear not to have had a clue how to go about it. Though this is packaged as a Marilyn movie today, it's more of a revue with multiple headliners. Marilyn appears as a crass show biz wanna-be, with pretentions that include vocal and drama coaches. Since Marilyn was already telling reporters of her ambitions as an actress, this casting appears to be an attempt by the studio to take their star down a peg. The irony is that she went on WITHOUT their blessing to prove that she did indeed have the level of talent she aspired to. Her big set piece here is the tawdry, over-inflated "Heat Wave" number, which must left audiences of the day wondering whether she really was a good girl underneath after all. This perception was key to her universal appeal, so it's shocking that 20th didn't grasp that. A few more of these misguided casting attempts led her to walk out on her contract and head East to The Actor's Studio. Back to the movie: it's reasonably entertaining, though the frenzied attempt to fill the huge CinemaScope screen is obvious. Smaller numbers, such as "Lazy" with Marilyn, Donald O'Connor and Mitzi Gaynor, actually come off better, because they're more focused. The big surprise here is the credible ensemble work by Broadway superstar Ethel Merman. Who knew? She's surprisingly touching as the mother hen leading her brood through changing times, and as the practical wife of daydreaming husband Dan Dailey. Donald and Mitzi have talent and energy to spare and are a most welcome presence. Johnny Ray - Not so much, but his role as the priesthood-bound elder son doesn't call for their kind of pizzazz. In the 1940's, Fox was THE purveyor of super-saturated Technicolor musicals, and this is an heir to that tradition, though one of the last. You should enjoy it, if you don't get fooled by the packaging into thinking it's one of Marilyn's good-natured romps like "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes".

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