The titular river unites a farmer recently released from prison, his young son, and an ambitious saloon singer. In order to survive, each must be purged of anger, and each must learn to understand and care for the others.
When billionaire Jean-Marc Clement learns that he is to be satirized in an off-Broadway revue, he passes himself off as an actor playing him in order to get closer to the beautiful star of the show, Amanda Dell.
Showgirls Lorelei Lee and Dorothy Shaw travel to Paris, pursued by a private detective hired by the suspicious father of Lorelei's fiancé, as well as a rich, enamored old man and many other doting admirers.
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 »
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 »
Back in 1919, Vaudeville was a very big part of Show Business. Our story is about The Donahues, a very little part of vaudeville.
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"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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