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There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Musical  |  16 December 1954 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 3,655 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 23 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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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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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
...
Father Dineen
Lee Patrick ...
Marge
Eve Miller ...
Helen - Hatcheck Girl
Robin Raymond ...
Lillian Sawyer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ed Oliver ...
Bandleader (as Eddie Oliver)
Edit

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

In the "Heatwave" number, Marilyn Monroe actually accidentally pokes her finger in a dancer's eye, something you can see on the DVD on slow motion. The dancer is seen trying to hide behind the tree with his hand over his eye, but is enough of a trooper to continue with the number. Right after Marilyn pokes the dancer in the eye she performs a twirl, pokes her head between the branches of the fake tree and gives the dancer a kiss as an apology (it's quick but definitely a peck on the cheek to make up for the eye poke). See more »

Quotes

Molly Donahue: You've gotta stop 'em, Terry!
Terence Donahue: ME ?
Molly Donahue: Certainly! You run this act.
Terence Donahue: Ha, all of a sudden, when something goes wrong, I run the act!
Molly Donahue: Don't raise your voice to me!
Terence Donahue: Who do you think YOU are... Whispering Jack Smith?
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody
(uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Sung by Ethel Merman
Danced by Dan Dailey
See more »

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User Reviews

 
That extra bow!
2 June 2006 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

20th Century Fox was no match for MGM when it came to musicals. Daryl F. Zanuk decided to gamble with this film where the talents of a Broadway star, Ethel Merman, would be showcased. Ms. Merman in spite of being the toast of Broadway, never made it big in Hollywood. After all, she was not a radiant beauty, but oh, could she belt a song that could be heard at the top of the balcony! Phoebe and Henry Ephron were brought on board to write the screen treatment and Walter Lang directed.

The musical was also blessed in that Irving Berlin's music is heard throughout in all its glory. Ms. Merman was the perfect actress to interpret the songs written by Mr. Berlin. They made a perfect duo, even though, for some viewers not used to Ethel Merman's singing style, it might prove an uneasy combination.

The story is simple enough. It follows the Donahues from the early days of vaudeville through some glittering years after. Molly and Terence Donahue had two sons, Tim and Steve, and a daughter, Katy. As the children grow up, the parents' popularity began to recede. The film deals with Tim, as a young man, as he falls for Vicky Parker, a beautiful singer who makes it big on her own. Vickie, who is more interested in her own career neglects Tim. As a result, Tim goes on his own to find himself, away from his family and Vickie.

The best thing in the film is Ethel Merman. She was a legendary figure and as Molly Donahue, she is at her best. Dan Dailey was the perfect partner for Ms. Merman. Donald O'Connor is also seen doing some fine dancing. Marilyn Monroe was a lovely woman to look at. As a singer, she had a small voice, but she used it well making the songs her own. Mitzi Gaynor plays Katy. Johnnie Ray, a popular singer of that period is terribly miscast. His Steve is the worst thing in the movie.

Although predictable, this film has some great things going for it. Some of the musical numbers are well staged and will not disappoint. On the whole as the camaraderie expressed by the title of the film is evident in the musical.


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