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The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956)

6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 194 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

Ray Henderson joins Buddy De Sylva and Lew Brown to form a successful 1920s musical show writing team. They soon have several hits on Broadway but De Sylva's personal ambition leads to ... See full summary »

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Title: The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956)

The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956) on IMDb 6/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ray Henderson
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Lew Brown
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Kitty Kane
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Carl Frisbee
Murvyn Vye ...
Manny Costain
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Maggie Henderson
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Winfield Sheehan
Tony Galento ...
Fingers
Norman Brooks ...
Jacques d'Amboise ...
Specialty Dancer
Roxanne Arlen ...
Perky Nichols
Byron Palmer ...
Hollywood Star
Linda Brace ...
Jeannie Henderson
Patty Lou Hudson ...
Susie Henderson
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Storyline

Ray Henderson joins Buddy De Sylva and Lew Brown to form a successful 1920s musical show writing team. They soon have several hits on Broadway but De Sylva's personal ambition leads to friction as the other two increasingly feel left out of things. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

John O'Hara's flaming portrait of the jazz age... and the guys and gals who made it Zing!

Genres:

Biography | Musical

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

28 September 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Best Things in Life Are Free  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

An establishing shot of Times Square in New York City, supposed to be taking place around 1930, clearly shows 1950s automobiles in the traffic. See more »

Soundtracks

The Best Things in Life Are Free
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Lew Brown and Buddy G. DeSylva
Sung by Sheree North (dubbed by Eileen Wilson)
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User Reviews

 
Middle-drawer Fox musical...not a predictable place to find Ernest Borgnine!
19 September 2010 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Working-stiff family man Ray Henderson, a piano player who dabbles in songwriting, meets struggling composers Buddy De Sylva and Lew Brown in 1920s Atlantic City; their musical partnership, formed by chance, evolves into a successful team which reaches the heights of Broadway and Hollywood. Biography of colorful tunesmith-trio who had hits with Al Jolson's "Sonny Boy" and the novelty numbers "Button Up Your Overcoat" and "Sunny Side Up" is nearly run into the ground by meandering musical routines which simply are not up to previous 20th Century-Fox standards. The casting also seems off: as the mercurial Brown, it isn't long before Ernest Borgnine loses his proverbial temper, yet his transitions from angry brute to dancing maestro have no resonance (the character never takes shape); Sheree North is the songbird who seems bound by faith to the three guys, though it's obvious her singing and dancing isn't as special as it's meant to be. As peace-keeper Henderson, Dan Dailey looks a bit sheepish at times (particularly in the "Overcoat" number), though Gordon MacRae as the overtly-ambitious De Sylva is nicely attuned to this milieu (and, for once, MacRae's baritone isn't over-worked). The production is glossy but lacks pizazz, while the uncertain path post-Hollywood isn't used to give the story an arc, only to point us to the formulaic happy ending. ** from ****


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