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There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 6 January 1955 (Uruguay)
2:45 | Trailer

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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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Johnnie Ray ...
Steve Donahue
Richard Eastham ...
Lew Harris
Charles Gibbs
Eddie Dugan
Father Dineen
Hatcheck Girl
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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


With Love and Kisses from 20th Century-Fox...Straight from the Shoulder, Right from the Heart Comes...The Musicavalcade and the Personal Story of the Greatest Business on Earth!


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 January 1955 (Uruguay)  »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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


Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?


Merle Oberon visited Marilyn Monroe on set during the making of the film See more »


In the "Heatwave" number, Marilyn Monroe accidentally pokes her finger in the eye of a dancer standing between the branches of a prop tree. Its pretty obvious and more so on the DVD in slow motion. The dancer jerks his head and looks down, but otherwise stays in character and continues with the number. Then Marilyn performs a twirl, sticks her head between the branches of the tree and gives him a kiss. The kiss may have been part of the choreography because she kisses another dancer before this. But it's possible it was an impromptu apology on Marilyn's part to make up for the eye poke. See more »


Molly Donahue: Then fit Lew Harris into this pretty picture, will you?
Vicky Parker: Lew did everything for me. You know that. Maybe he did have some ideas. That doesn't mean that I shared them. There was never anyone for me but Tim.
See more »


References Singin' in the Rain (1952) See more »


Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Marilyn Monroe, Mitzi Gaynor and Donald O'Connor
See more »

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User Reviews

That extra bow!
2 June 2006 | by 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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