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What a Way to Go! (1964)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 12 May 1964 (USA)
A four-time widow discusses her four marriages, in which all of her husbands became incredibly rich and died prematurely because of their drive to be rich.

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Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Louisa May Foster
...
...
Rod Anderson, Jr.
...
Leonard 'Lennie' Crawley
...
Pinky Benson
...
Dr. Victor Stephanson (as Bob Cummings)
...
Edgar Hopper
...
Painter
...
Mrs. Foster
Lou Nova ...
Trentino
Fifi D'Orsay ...
Baroness
Maurice Marsac ...
Rene
Wally Vernon ...
Agent
Jane Wald ...
Polly
Lenny Kent ...
Hollywood Lawyer
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Storyline

This black comedy opens with Louisa Foster donating a multimillion dollar check to the IRS. The tax department thinks she's crazy and sends her to a psychiatrist. She then discusses her four marriages, in which all of her husbands became incredibly rich and died prematurely because of their drive to be rich. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What A Cast!... What A Past!... What A Show!...

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 May 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Love Louisa  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early in the film, Shirley MacLaine has a line involving money in which she says, "It's like exorcising an evil spirit". MacLaine later appeared in the supernatural film "The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972) and was William Peter Blatty's original choice for the role of Chris in The Exorcist (1973). See more »

Goofs

During the scene at Pinky and Louisa's pool, several bright stage lights are seen reflected in the sunglass lenses of Louisa (while she is seated) and Pinky (after he comes down the stairs). See more »

Quotes

Rod Anderson, Jr.: What are you doing after the orgy?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening Fox Fanfare is in the colour PINK. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Follow the Fleet (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Musical Extravaganza
Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Music by Jule Styne
Performed by Gene Kelly, Shirley MacLaine and dancers.
See more »

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User Reviews

What a Costume Budget!
5 January 2005 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

MacLaine gets a huge workout in this episodic comedy about a woman from humble beginnings who is satisfied with the smaller things in life, but who keeps marrying men who make a fortune and then die, leaving her a wealthy widow four times over! Each one of the marriages sees MacLaine experiencing a new level of frustration and enveloping herself in an increasingly over-the-top super-glam wardrobe. As she relates the marriages to the rather manipulative psychologist Cummings, each relationship is seen as if it were a certain movie genre. Van Dyke lives a simple existence as a small-time store owner and their sequence contains an old silent-movie vignette. Newman is an expatriate artist living in Paris, so theirs is a slightly naughty French art film. Mitchum is a businessman loaded with dough which lends itself to a parody of the fur-and-fashion Ross Hunter women's pictures. Then marriage to small town hoofer Kelly includes a big song and dance number out of a 1940's musical. Also on hand is loutish playboy Martin, who plays the man her mother (Dumont) wanted her to marry in the first place. MacLaine gives a worthy performance with lots of physical comedy and an impressive dance sequence. She's occasionally a little shrill, but that's the character. Van Dyke is solid, Newman is sexy (and shows more skin here - albeit G-rated - than in the bulk of his other movies), Mitchum is charming, Kelly is appropriately self-involved and Martin is his usual suave, laid-back self. All of the actors establish a nice chemistry with MacLaine (who lived many a gal's dream when she got to pair up with all the leading men of this film!) It's fun to see these actors hamming it up and having fun with their unusual roles. The real star, however, apart from MacLaine, is the eye-popping, jaw-dropping parade of costumes and wigs. Some are breathtakingly glamorous, some are atrociously eye-assaulting, but they really steal the show, especially during the Mitchum sequence. Edith Head clearly had a field day (but lost the Oscar to equally-gifted Cecil Beaton for his "My Fair Lady" gowns.) There are also some attention-getting set designs. It's the kind of frothy, harmless, yet beautiful film that rarely gets made today. Some modern movie-goers will note MacLaine's uncanny resemblance to Renee Zellweger at times in this film. She gave this type of frothy flick a go in "Down With Love", but no one came (of course, it wasn't as good, so it isn't surprising!) The pattern of the movie threatens to become tiresome, but the changes in stars and venues and the clever scripting of Comden and Green help keep it afloat.


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