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Top Banana (1954)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Romance  |  22 February 1954 (USA)
5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 208 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 6 critic

A filmed version of Phil Silvers' hit Broadway show about a television comic who tried to regain his ratings on TV.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writer:

(screen version)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jerry Biffle
...
Betty Dillon
Danny Scholl ...
Cliff Lane
Judy Lynn ...
Sally Peters
...
Vic Davis
Bradford Hatton ...
Mr. Parker
Johnny Coy ...
Tommy Phelps
Dick Dana ...
Danny
Joey Faye ...
Pinky
Johnny Trama ...
Little Man
Herbie Faye ...
Moe
Gloria Smith ...
Featured Dancer
Walter Darewahl ...
Walter (as Walter Dare Wahl)
George Marcy ...
Featured Dancer (as George Marci)
Flash Hogan ...
Singing Dog (as 'Flash' Hogan the Singing Dog)
Edit

Storyline

A filmed version of Phil Silvers' hit Broadway show about a television comic who tried to regain his ratings on TV.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 February 1954 (USA)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Herbie Faye. See more »

Quotes

Jerry Biffle: "He's in love" - that's why tenors were born.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Muppet Show: Milton Berle (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Havin' a Ball
Music and Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
See more »

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User Reviews

Broadway in your living room...
2 February 2000 | by See all my reviews

In 1951, Phil Silvers starred in a Broadway musical comedy satirizing the then-champ of TV, Milton Berle -- his ego, his drive, his anything-for-a-laugh desperation. It ran a year but lost money. That didn't stop producer Albert Zugsmith from filming the show, and I mean filming the show -- at a Los Angeles theater, with audience-reaction shots and no attempt at movie production values. It was filmed in cheap color and 3-D (no 3-D prints survive) and given a limited release.

The current print has a vastly reduced running time, with several musical numbers missing. As a movie, it isn't much. But as a curio of a certain kind of stage musical at a certain time in theater history, it's invaluable. The music is loud and brassy, the staging unsubtle, the pace fast. And while Silvers disparages the movie in his autobio, it's a fine documenting of his comic style and energy. The general tackiness of the enterprise (perfunctory song cues, boilerplate romantic subplot, cheesy sets, non-PC attitudes toward women by today's standards) actually add to its period charm. It's also fun seeing a pre-Dick Van Dyke Rose Marie, playing a very similar part.


18 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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