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.
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.
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.
The Donahues - husband and wife Terry and Molly, and their three offspring Steve, Katy and Tim - are a song and dance act. Their survival as a performing act of five and as a family collective is presented. Under their family name, Terry and Molly were a successful vaudeville act in the early 1920s, they who subsequently under the names the Three Donahues, the Four Donahues and the Five Donahues, trotted out Steve, then Steve and Katy, then Steve, Katy and Tim on stage as early as they being toddlers. Molly was able to convince Terry to give the kids a stable education at a boarding school as the two of them continued their on the road career in Molly wanting the kids to have a normal life. They were pleasantly surprised that the kids grew up not only to have musical performing talent, but wanted to perform as a family unit as the Five Donahues. That harmony on and off stage was threatened first by Steve contemplating following another calling - the threat not only in his thought of ...Written by
Johnnie Ray, who plays the older son Steve, was a popular singing star of the early 1950's, and had recently had a chart-topping hit with his version of "Cry." According to screenwriters Henry Ephron and Phoebe Ephron, 20th Century Fox hired Ray for this film, hoping that the singer could duplicate the success of Frank Sinatra, and become a major movie star. Then they discovered that, unlike Sinatra, Ray couldn't dance or act! The studio's solution was to have the Ephrons rewrite the film so that Steve Donahue leaves the family act early on to become a priest, as a way to "get [Ray] off-screen as quickly as possible." Movie-goers did not respond well to Ray's acting debut, and this remains the one and only major film in which he ever appeared. See more »
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 »
Then fit Lew Harris into this pretty picture, will you?
Lew did everything for me. You know that. Maybe he did have some ideas. That doesn't mean that I shared them. There was never anyone for me but Tim.
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There's No Business Like Show Business
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by the cast See more »
The Show Must Go On and On and On
Married vaudeville duo Ethel Merman and Dan Dailey (as Molly and Terry Donahue) continue their success over three decades when children Johnnie Ray (as Steve), Mitzi Gaynor (as Katy) and Donald O'Connor (as Tim) re-join the act as adults. But "The Five Donahues" are rocked by Mr. Ray's desire to become a priest and Mr. O'Connor's involvement with bawdy stage rival Marilyn Monroe (as Victoria "Vicky Parker" Hoffman). Seeing these six people perform a string of Irving Berlin songs live on stage would be an unimaginable treat, but they are rendered gross in 20th Century Fox' weakly plotted CinemaScope extravaganza...
O'Connor and Ray are the most mismatched. The former, playing the youngest kid, has no romantic "chemistry" with Ms. Monroe. Ray is too vague in in the "reverential" role, with both his wailing ballad and sexualized jazz sounds underused. Monroe's sex appeal is thankfully on display, with her "Heat Wave" being a highlight, but she arrives on screen after you're first yawn. Nobody thought about letting Monroe and Ray cut loose in a duet. The show does go on, however, with Ms. Merman belting them out and never letting go. Mr. Dailey and Ms. Gaynor are overshadowed, but all remain game, "Even with a turkey that you know will fold..."
****** There's No Business Like Show Business (12/16/54) Walter Lang ~ Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Donald O'Connor, Johnnie Ray
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