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There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Musical  |  16 December 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 3,851 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 24 critic

Molly and Terry Donahue, plus their three children, are The Five Donahues. Son Tim meets hat-check girl Vicky and the family act begins to fall apart.



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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Johnnie Ray ...
Richard Eastham ...
Charles Gibbs
Eddie Dugan, Vicky's Agent
Father Dineen
Lee Patrick ...
Eve Miller ...
Helen - Hatcheck Girl
Robin Raymond ...
Lillian Sawyer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ed Oliver ...
Bandleader (as Eddie Oliver)


Molly and Terry Donahue, plus their three children, are The Five Donahues. Son Tim meets hat-check girl Vicky and the family act begins to fall apart. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

16 December 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Irving Berlin's There's No Business Like Show Business  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(optical prints)| (Western Electric Recording) (magnetic prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Donald O'Connor had separated from his wife of ten years. She and Dan Dailey, who played O'Connor's father, were dating during the shooting of the film. After filming wrapped, the O'Connors divorced and shortly thereafter Gwen Carter and Dan Dailey married. See more »


When Vicky rehearses the "Heat Wave" number with the band the afternoon of her nightclub opening, it's an entirely different musical arrangement and vocal tempo than she uses in her act later just several hours later. See more »


[Molly is dunking Tim's head in a sink full of water to try to sober him up]
Tim Donahue: Ma!
[she dunks his head under water]
Tim Donahue: Ma! You're drowning me!
[Molly dunks his head again]
Molly Donahue: Don't put any ideas in my head
See more »


Referenced in Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996) See more »


Written by Irving Berlin
Sung by Ethel Merman and Dan Dailey
See more »

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User Reviews

Marilyn was deliciously charming, seducing and very appealing…

The film was, perhaps, the splashiest of the year's musicals… It dealt with the joys, loves and heartaches experienced by a vaudeville family called the Donahues (spending their lives singing and dancing and touring) with Merman and Dailey as mother and father, and Ray, Gaynor and O'Connor as their talented offspring…

All of them get to perform a large catalog of new and old songs by Irving Berlin in sumptuous arrangements, beautiful settings and on a big Hippodrome extravaganza…

Daily and Merman hit the top; O'Connor—who had liked to build a barbed-wire fence around Marilyn—did it Scottish and came with some fine dances; Gaynor's love was dancing… and she was really cute; and while Ray got some thinking to do, he sells a very beautiful song ("If You Believe").

Marilyn (appearing after 29 minutes screening) was deliciously charming, seducing and very appealing… She sang "After You Get What You Want" and "Lazy," and did that tropical version of 'Heat Wave.'

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