There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Musical  |  16 December 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 3,899 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?


"Anything You Can Do" (music and lyrics by Irving Berlin), sung by Ethel Merman and Dan Dailey, was cut from this movie. The song as filmed still exists. In 1946, Miss Merman and Ray Middleton had introduced this song in the Broadway musical "Annie Get Your Gun", and it also appears in the film adaptation Annie Get Your Gun (1950) starring Betty Hutton and Howard Keel. See more »


When Tim's father shows up at the hospital while the big show opens, Tim is wearing a gold ring on his left ring finger. 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 Step by Step: No Business Like Show Business (1993) See more »


A Man Chases a Girl (Until She Catches Him)
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Donald O'Connor and Marilyn Monroe
Danced by Donald O'Connor
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.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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