6.1/10
252
12 user 5 critic

The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956)

Ray Henderson joins Buddy De Sylva and Lew Brown to form a successful 1920s musical show writing team. They soon have several hits on Broadway but De Sylva's personal ambition leads to ... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Curtiz
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Louis XI of France drafts Paris's popular "king" of criminals as Provost Marshal in his fight against usurper Charles of Burgundy and the traitorous nobles who rally around him.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Oreste Kirkop, Rita Moreno
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 13th century Italy, Francis Bernardone, the son of an Assisi merchant, renounces a promising army career in favor of a monastic life and starts his own religious order, sanctioned by the Pope.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Bradford Dillman, Dolores Hart, Stuart Whitman
Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Princess Olympia, despite her life status cannot resist the urge to satisfy her sexual appetites. Exiled to the countryside, Olympia falls in love with American millionaire Charlie Foster.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Sophia Loren, Maurice Chevalier, John Gavin
Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A struggling artist in a small town becomes the prime suspect when his wife mysteriously disappears.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Alan Ladd, Carolyn Jones, Diane Brewster
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unhappy wife uses her powers of manipulation to draw an infatuated man into an ill-fated jewelry heist.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Carol Ohmart, Tom Tryon, Jody Lawrance
The Hangman (1959)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

U.S. Marshal Bovard comes to a small border town to identify and arrest a fugitive, but the whole town seems determined to prevent the Marshal from doing his job.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Robert Taylor, Tina Louise, Fess Parker
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Struggling to retain custody of his daughter following his divorce, football coach Steve Williams finds himself embroiled in a recruiting scandal at the tiny Catholic college he is trying ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: John Wayne, Donna Reed, Charles Coburn
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Tom Brewster, handy with a rope but not a gun, rides into town and mails his lawyer's exam. When his lack of ability with a gun is exposed, the town boss Turlock offers him the job of ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Will Rogers Jr., Nancy Olson, Lon Chaney Jr.
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Extravagant production of the first part of the book of Genesis. Covers Adam and Eve, Noah and the Flood and Abraham and Isaac.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Michael Parks, Ulla Bergryd, Richard Harris
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Confederate veteran living in the Yankee North struggles with his son's shock induced muteness and the hate of the Northerners.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Alan Ladd, Olivia de Havilland, Dean Jagger
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Torch singer Helen Morgan rises from sordid beginnings to fame and fortune only to lose it all to alcohol and poor personal choices.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Ann Blyth, Paul Newman, Richard Carlson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In the 1920s, enterprising Louise Randall is determined to succeed in a man's world. She enrolls at business college but her plans for a career change when she falls in love with handsome ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Jack Carson, Robert Hutton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gordon MacRae ... B.G. 'Buddy' De Sylva
Dan Dailey ... Ray Henderson
Ernest Borgnine ... Lew Brown
Sheree North ... Kitty Kane
Tommy Noonan ... Carl Frisbee
Murvyn Vye ... Manny Costain
Phyllis Avery ... Maggie Henderson
Larry Keating ... Winfield Sheehan
Tony Galento Tony Galento ... Fingers
Norman Brooks Norman Brooks ... Al Jolson
Jacques d'Amboise Jacques d'Amboise ... Specialty Dancer
Roxanne Arlen ... Perky Nichols
Byron Palmer ... Hollywood Star
Linda Brace Linda Brace ... Jeannie Henderson
Patty Lou Hudson Patty Lou Hudson ... Susie Henderson
Edit

Storyline

Ray Henderson joins Buddy De Sylva and Lew Brown to form a successful 1920s musical show writing team. They soon have several hits on Broadway but De Sylva's personal ambition leads to friction as the other two increasingly feel left out of things. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

John O'Hara's flaming portrait of the jazz age... and the guys and gals who made it Zing!

Genres:

Biography | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El encanto de vivir See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Strike Me Pink", the near-flop musical depicted at the end of the movie, had a Broadway run of three months (122 performances - a not-atypical run for a musical during the depths of the Great Depression) at the Majestic Theatre in the spring of 1933. The Samuel Goldwyn Company filmed Strike Me Pink (1936) three years later. Although this film shows the song "The Best Things in Life Are Free" being performed in the play, it does not appear in the song lists of the IMDb entry for the movie or the Internet Broadway Database entry for the play. See more »

Goofs

An establishing shot of Times Square in New York City, supposed to be taking place around 1930, clearly shows 1950s automobiles in the traffic. See more »

Connections

References Sunnyside Up (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

Black Bottom
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Lew Brown and Buddy G. DeSylva
Danced by Sheree North and Jacques d'Amboise
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Tin Pan Alley men
9 March 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

It's hard to believe Michael Curtiz directed this film. Mr. Curtiz, one of the most distinguished directors of the American cinema, doesn't bring anything new to this tired 20th Century Fox movie.

Maybe the three men at the center of the movie, the great song writing team of De Sylva, Brown and Henderson were too bland to merit a film that celebrated their lives. They made their mark in the theater in the early part of the 20th century, but as it plays on the screen, this musical feels dull and out of place. Some of the trio's best songs are heard in the movie. Songs like Birth of the Blues, which Gordon MacRae sings with panache. Also they wrote that sappy Al Jolson's standard, Sunny Boy, which is sung by the star in black face.

Perhaps the casting was the wrong choice for this movie. Gordon MacRae doesn't show any spark as Buddy DeSylva. Dan Dailey is also an enigma, the way he plays Ray Henderson. Ernest Borgnine is the only one that shows some life in his interpretation of Lew Brown. Sheree North is the good Kitty Kane, who played in most of the shows this trio wrote.


3 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed