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There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 6 January 1955 (Uruguay)
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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.

Director:

Walter Lang

Writers:

Phoebe Ephron (screenplay), Henry Ephron (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:
Ethel Merman ... Molly Donahue
Donald O'Connor ... Tim Donahue
Marilyn Monroe ... Vicky Parker
Dan Dailey ... Terrance Donahue
Johnnie Ray Johnnie Ray ... Steve Donahue
Mitzi Gaynor ... Katy Donahue
Richard Eastham ... Lew Harris
Hugh O'Brian ... Charles Gibbs
Frank McHugh ... Eddie Dugan
Rhys Williams ... Father Dineen
Lee Patrick ... Marge
Eve Miller ... Hatcheck Girl
Robin Raymond ... Lillian Sawyer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ed Oliver 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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

With Love and Kisses from 20th Century-Fox...Straight from the Shoulder, Right from the Heart Comes...The Musicavalcade and the Personal Story of the Greatest Business on Earth!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 January 1955 (Uruguay) See more »

Also Known As:

Irving Berlin's There's No Business Like Show Business See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,103,000, 31 December 1954
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording) (magnetic prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marilyn Monroe was promised the lead role in The Seven Year Itch (1955) if she appeared in this film to boost its box-office potential. The role of Vicky was written especially for this purpose, and songs such as "Heatwave", originally intended for Ethel Merman, were assigned to her. See more »

Goofs

In the "Heatwave" number, Marilyn Monroe accidentally pokes her finger in the eye of a dancer standing between the branches of a prop tree. Its pretty obvious and more so on the DVD in slow motion. The dancer jerks his head and looks down, but otherwise stays in character and continues with the number. Then Marilyn performs a twirl, sticks her head between the branches of the tree and gives him a kiss. The kiss may have been part of the choreography because she kisses another dancer before this. But it's possible it was an impromptu apology on Marilyn's part to make up for the eye poke. See more »

Quotes

Tim Donahue: [Molly is dunking Tim's head in a sink full of water to sober him up] Mom!
Molly Donahue: Big man now. Coming home like...
[she dunks his head under water]
Tim Donahue: You're drowning me!
[she dunks his head again]
Molly Donahue: Don't put any ideas in my head!
See more »


Soundtracks

A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody
(uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Ethel Merman and Dan Dailey
Danced by Dan Dailey
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good, Could've Been Great
1 April 2002 | by kensmarkSee 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.


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