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There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 3,306 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 22 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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Title: There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Johnnie Ray ...
...
Richard Eastham ...
...
Charles Gibbs
Frank McHugh ...
Eddie Dugan, Vicky's Agent
...
Lee Patrick ...
Eve Miller ...
Helen - Hatcheck Girl
Robin Raymond ...
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Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song "When the Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabam'" was sung by Ethel Merman and Dan Dailey in Irving Berlin's There's No Business Like Show Business (1954) and previously by Judy Garland and Fred Astaire in Irving Berlin's Easter Parade (1948). In 1950, Judy Garland had started to film Annie Get Your Gun (1950) as Annie Oakley in the role that Ethel Merman had originated on Broadway in 1946. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Molly Donahue: [speaking of their children] I want them to have an education... a real education. They have to learn arithmetic and spelling and geography.
Terence Donahue: You never went past the sixth grade... and it was probably the fourth grade, because you said it was the sixth.
Molly Donahue: My age is the only thing I lie about, and I don't add on, I take off.
Terence Donahue: All right, the sixth grade, but there's nothing wrong with your arithmetic. You can whistle 'Mandy', do an 'Off to Buffalo', and count the house at the same time, and tell me ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Biography: Marilyn Monroe: The Mortal Goddess (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Alexander's Ragtime Band
(uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Sung by Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O'Connor, Mitzi Gaynor and Johnnie Ray
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good, Could've Been Great
1 April 2002 | by (Right Behind You) – See all my reviews

Contrary to what a lot of people seem to think of this film, my biggest complaint with it is Marilyn Monroe. The studio shoehorned her into this film in their attempt to make the biggest musical extravaganza ever, and she just doesn't fit. She's so out of sync with the other characters that she might as well be from a different planet.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a huge Marilyn fan, but she was good (and well-cast) in "Some Like It Hot". She's just all wrong for "No Business Like Show Business", and she looks and sounds ridiculous.

To be fair, Johnnie Ray often doesn't hold up well before modern audiences, either, when he sings. It's not that he's bad; it's that his style has come and gone and hardly been seen since. Everything in this movie tends to be at least a little overdone, and asking Johnnie Ray to exaggerate his singing does not produce flattering results.

Still, Donald O'Connor and Mitzi Gaynor are as brilliant and exuberant as you could hope. Ethel Merman is, well, Ethel Merman, and exactly right for her part. Dan Dailey is like a reliable locomotive that never disappoints.

The story is a bit plodding at times, but it only exists to set up one gala musical number after another. It only really bogs down when it gets caught up with Marilyn's character. If the studio had just left Marilyn out of it, perhaps giving Mitzi Gaynor the love interest role, and toned down the general effort level just a hair, this would've been one of the all-time greats.

It's still absolutely worth seeing -- in widescreen format, if you possibly can.


11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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