Jim and Connie's postwar New York building troubles keep Jim from working on his novel. Ex-WAC from Jim's army days Roberta moves in, further upsetting Connie but pleasing Jim's friend Ed. ... See full summary »
Blake Washburn blames manufacturer MacFarland for his defeat in the race for re-election to the state legislature. He takes over his uncle's newspaper to take on big business as an enemy of... See full summary »
Former burlesque star May and her daughter Peggy dance in the chorus. When May has a fight with featured dancer Bubbles, Bubbles leaves the show and Peggy takes her place. When Peggy falls ... See full summary »
Johnny runs away from Father O'Hara's orphanage and becomes a roller skating star with the help of Mary Reeves. He becomes involved with women, including Polly, who only love him because he... See full summary »
In 1876 Dawson wants to prevent a train from getting to Tomahawk CO on time, to keep it from competing with his stage coach line. Kit, who must get the train to its goal, forces Johnny ... See full summary »
Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.
Irving Berlin loved Ethel Merman, having first worked with her in a previous cavalcade of his songs, Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938). After that film, Berlin told her that he was so impressed with her talent that he promised to work with her again. He kept that promise and wrote two Broadway shows especially for her: "Annie Get Your Gun" in 1946 and "Call Me Madam" in 1950, the latter of which also starred Merman in the film adaptation: Call Me Madam (1953). The song "There's No Business Like Show Business" is from "Annie Get Your Gun". See more »
On the billboard on opening night the Donohue daughter's name is spelled "Katie"; on the poster for "34th week" it is spelled "Katy". See more »
[Molly is dunking Tim's head in a sink full of water to try to sober him up]
[she dunks his head under water]
Ma! You're drowning me!
[Molly dunks his head again]
Don't put any ideas in my head
See more »
There's No Business Like Show Business has the distinction of being the last of the Irving Berlin songbook musicals filmed. It came out the same year as White Christmas, also of the same genre.
Take a listen to the background music of films like Holiday Inn, Blue Skies, Alexander's Ragtime Band, and this one. I defy you to find one non-Berlin note in the film and that's no accident. The more songs of Irving Berlin used, the more money he made. He was one shrewd businessman Irving, most of the time.
The title song is identified with Ethel Merman and it was introduced in Annie Get Your Gun. Merman like Mary Martin had a conspicuous lack of success in Hollywood as much as she was an icon on Broadway. She only did the screen version of two of her Broadway hits, Anything Goes and Call Me Madam. That's two more than Mary Martin did.
Anyway, I think the genesis of There's No Business Like Show Business probably came about when Call Me Madam became such a hit and the movie money people saw how the chemistry was between her and Donald O'Connor. So O'Connor was signed to play one of her three children. The other two children were Johnnie Ray and Mitzi Gaynor.
The plot such as it is, is the story of the Donahue family between both World Wars. The father of the aforementioned children is Dan Dailey and he and Merman do some good Irving Berlin numbers together. I've always marvelled at how graceful Dan Dailey moved on the screen in his musical films. He was not a creative sort in the same way Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly were. Probably if he had been, his reputation would be higher today. But he was a pleasing entertainer every time you saw him.
By all accounts it wasn't a happy film for Ethel. Marilyn Monroe is in the film and Ethel was jealous of her. Not that Monroe wasn't her usual difficult self. Probably that helped the plot because it does call for the two to be at odds. Merman believes that Monroe has led Donald O'Connor astray.
Mitzi Gaynor was a wonderful talent as well. Too bad she wasn't born twenty years earlier, what a big star she would have been in the thirties and forties in Hollywood musicals then. Good singer and one fabulous dancer.
The plot does get kind of sticky in spots and Johnnie Ray didn't set the screen on fire when he wasn't singing. No accident he didn't become a film star.
Still for those of us who bless the day Irving Berlin put down his first notes of an original song, it's worth watching.
13 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?