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There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)

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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 »

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

Top-billed Etel Merman, upset that audiences might focus on Marilyn Monroe's stunning figure rather than Merman's vocals in the film's finale, specifically requested that costume designer Travilla design Merman a gown that would allow Ethel to compete with Marilyn. The result was a white satin dress with "wings" atop it's bodice that gave the illusion that Merman was at least as "busty" as Monroe. See more »

Goofs

Donald O'Connor (Tim) wears a gold ring on his left ring finger (even though his character is not married) in almost all of his scenes. The ring is missing when he performs "A Man Chases a Girl (Until She Catches Him)", in the scene with Marilyn Monroe (Vicky) just before that, and in the film's climactic scenes. See more »

Quotes

On-screen prologue: Back in 1919, Vaudeville was a very big part of Show Business. Our story is about The Donahues, a very little part of vaudeville.
See more »


Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
There really IS no business like show business!
15 August 2005 | by dodgerdivaSee all my reviews

"There's No Business Like Show Business" was never intended to be great film-making or storytelling, so please do not watch it with those things in mind.

Sure, it was over-staged, over-produced, in some cases over-acted and any other "overs" you can think of, but it's just fun to relax and watch and listen to. I've seen the film maybe dozens of times (I own the DVD) and it's obvious to me that despite a few on screen gaffes and off-screen problems for at least a couple of the actors, Hollywood had a whale of a good time making it. Some of the characters are unrealistic and I'm sure if you could ask the actors, all would say it was by far not their best work.

Furthermore, if we didn't know it before, "Show Business" proved that Johnnie Ray, the part crooner, part rock belter of the era, couldn't act his way into or out of a paper bag. But so what?? This ain't Hamlet. Ray was cast to do here what he did best: sing the heck out of a couple of songs that were arranged precisely to suit his performing style. And he also just managed to pull off an unusual plot twist that I'm sure audiences of the era did not expect.

We're all asked to suspend temporarily all logic and reason when we turn on our TVs or go to the movies. Why stop with "There's No Business Like Show Business"? So grab the munchies, sit back and let Ethel Merman and Gang entertain you for a couple of harmless, gaudy hours.


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