IMDb > What a Way to Go! (1964)
What a Way to Go!
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What a Way to Go! (1964) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   2,508 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Gwen Davis (story)
Betty Comden (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for What a Way to Go! on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 May 1964 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
What A Cast!... What A Past!... What A Show!...
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Fun, Froth, and What Will She Wear Next? See more (62 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Shirley MacLaine ... Louisa May Foster

Paul Newman ... Larry Flint

Robert Mitchum ... Rod Anderson, Jr.

Dean Martin ... Leonard 'Lennie' Crawley

Gene Kelly ... Pinky Benson

Robert Cummings ... Dr. Victor Stephanson (as Bob Cummings)

Dick Van Dyke ... Edgar Hopper
Reginald Gardiner ... Painter

Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Foster
Lou Nova ... Trentino
Fifi D'Orsay ... Baroness
Maurice Marsac ... Rene
Wally Vernon ... Agent
Jane Wald ... Polly
Lenny Kent ... Hollywood Lawyer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fred Aldrich ... Restaurant Patron (uncredited)

Army Archerd ... TV Announcer (uncredited)
Anton Arnold ... Mr. Foster (uncredited)
Phil Arnold ... Publicity and Press Agent (uncredited)

Mark Bailey ... Private Airline Pilot (uncredited)
Marjorie Bennett ... Mrs. Freeman (uncredited)

Nesdon Booth ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Eugene Borden ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Lynn Borden ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Barbara Bouchet ... Girl on Plane (uncredited)
John Cliff ... Waiter (uncredited)
Christopher Connelly ... Ned (uncredited)
Tom Conway ... Lord Kensington (uncredited)
William Corcoran ... Leonard Crawley Jr. - Age 7 (uncredited)
Carol Daniels ... Bathing Beauty (uncredited)

Douglass Dumbrille ... Undetermined Secondary Role (unconfirmed) (uncredited)
Anthony Eustrel ... Willard (uncredited)
Pamelyn Ferdin ... Geraldine Crawley - Age 4 (uncredited)
Jeff Fithian ... Jonathan Crawley - Age 5 (uncredited)
Jacques Foti ... Policeman (uncredited)
Milton Frome ... Lawyer (uncredited)

Teri Garr ... Dancer in Shipboard Number (uncredited)
Roy Gordon ... Minister (uncredited)
Sid Gould ... Movie Executive (uncredited)

Joe Gray ... Patron (uncredited)
Jack Greening ... Chester (uncredited)
Arlene Harris ... Older Woman in Club Audience (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Marcel Hillaire ... French Lawyer (uncredited)
Paula Lane ... Movie Executive's Girl (uncredited)
Queenie Leonard ... Lady Kensington (uncredited)

Burt Mustin ... Crawleyville Lawyer (uncredited)
Patrick O'Moore ... Undetermined Secondary Role (unconfirmed) (uncredited)
Cleo Ronson ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Myrna Ross ... Party Girl at Ron Anderson's 'Orgy' (uncredited)
Jack Shea ... Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
Justin Smith ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Dick Wilson ... Driscoll (uncredited)
Helene Winston ... Doris (uncredited)

Directed by
J. Lee Thompson 
 
Writing credits
Gwen Davis (story)

Betty Comden (screenplay) and
Adolph Green (screenplay)

Produced by
Arthur P. Jacobs .... producer
 
Original Music by
Nelson Riddle 
 
Cinematography by
Leon Shamroy (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Marjorie Fowler 
Pat Shade (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Ted Haworth 
Jack Martin Smith 
 
Set Decoration by
Stuart A. Reiss 
Walter M. Scott 
 
Makeup Department
Margaret Donovan .... supervising hair stylist
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair styles creator: Miss MacLaine
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Dick Smith .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Frank Westmore .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
William Eckhardt .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fred R. Simpson .... assistant director
John Flynn .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Les Warner .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
M. Duke Abrahams .... props (uncredited)
Don B. Greenwood .... property master (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Bernard Freericks .... sound
Elmer Raguse .... sound
Bill Wells .... recordist (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
L.B. Abbott .... special photographic effects
Emil Kosa Jr. .... special photographic effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Don Anderson .... camera operator (uncredited)
Red Crawford .... camera operator (uncredited)
Fred Hall .... gaffer (uncredited)
Mark Kaufman .... still photographer (uncredited)
Leo McCreary .... grip (uncredited)
James Mitchell .... still photographer (uncredited)
Lloyd Phillips .... grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Edith Head .... gowns: Miss MacLaine
Moss Mabry .... wardrobe: men
Ed Wynigear .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator
 
Other crew
Leon Charles .... dialogue coach
Richard Humphrey .... assistant: Mr. Kelly
Gene Kelly .... choreographer
John Franco .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Richard Humphrey .... choreographer (uncredited)
Billy Mahan .... assistant to producer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
111 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Chile:14 | Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (re-rating) (video) (2006) | USA:Approved (certificate #20609) | West Germany:12 (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
When Elizabeth Taylor was still attached to the project (then titled I Love Louisa), actors sought to play her husbands included Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis--none of whom appeared in the final film.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: The position of Louisa's hands and her facial reactions as Larry's artist friend shoots at the balloons tied to her canvas.See more »
Quotes:
Larry Flint:The Louvre - It's the garbage pail of the arts.See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofs That Touch of Mink (1962)See more »
Soundtrack:
Musical ExtravaganzaSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
22 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
Fun, Froth, and What Will She Wear Next?, 29 May 2005
Author: gftbiloxi (gftbiloxi@yahoo.com) from Biloxi, Mississippi

To describe WHAT A WAY TO GO as an ultra-light 1960s confection would be an understatement: frothy, foolish, and seeking no more than to be mildly entertaining, it is a classic of its kind and of its era.

The plot is episodic. When multi-millionaire Louisa May Foster tries to give away her money she finds herself slapped onto a psychiatrist's couch--where she details the story of a little girl from the wrong side of the tracks who was only interested in marrying for love. But as fate would have it, every husband she touched turned to gold, and their successes spelled finish to the marriage in no uncertain terms, with each widowhood leaving Louisa even more fabulously wealthy than before. What's a poor little rich girl to do? The charm here is in the cast and the production values. Although she offered considerably more in her most celebrated films, Shirley MacLaine had a remarkable way with light comedy, and she pulls out all the stops as the eternal widow, at times sassy, at times silly, but never less than completely watchable. Her unlikely co-stars--Dean Martin, Dick Van Dyke, Paul Newman, Robert Mitchum, Gene Kelly, Robert Cummings and (in her final film) the amazing Margaret Dumont--are also up to the task.

The humor is both obvious and sly, lampooning various rags-to-riches (or in one case riches-to-riches) stereotypes with a wink, a nod, and now and then an unexpectedly sophisticated bit of wit. The film works best when it gently mocks both itself and the more obvious cinematic conventions of its day, as when Louisa recalls each of her marriages with the words "it was like one of those movies where..." Everything from silent film to musicals gets a poke, and over-budgeted romantic blockbusters suddenly become considerably more comic than you'd ever imagine.

The production values are first rate, and to say there is always something to look at on the screen would be an understatement: they are deliberately and often deliciously over the top--and often as amusing as the performances. (The "Lush Budget" sequence, in which MacLaine changes gowns every few seconds, is particularly witty.) True, the movie is a no-brainer, but it is a fun one. Only a sour-puss could resist! Recommended.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

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favorite quote... homesick251960
French dialogue? Balok-2
Shirley's Exotic Gowns by Edith Head Rolrblad
Lush Budget Jean-Bagin
A Gem. Maclain was mahhhvelous! bpollen
Why Are These 'Classics' Only Distributed In Canada? Emmjewels
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