6.5/10
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There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 16 December 1954 (USA)
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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.

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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
...
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)
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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:

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Details

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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

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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

During the making of the CD, it was discovered that half the "Play a Simple Melody" duet was deteriorated beyond repair, with the result that Ethel Merman is credited on the CD label with singing with a "temporary vocal double for Dan Dailey". However, the non-stereo version was intact and was added to the CD as well - they are tracks Fourteen and Fifteen. 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 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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Cleveland Show: Murray Christmas (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

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