Irving Berlin's There's No Business Like Show Business

Irving Berlin's There's No Business Like Show Business

DVD - 2001
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A tuneful Irving Berlin musical that depicts the trials and triumphs of a veteran vaudeville family. Molly and Terry Donahue start out as a duo and keep adding kids to the act until they finally become The 5 Donahues. Their busy and tumultuous lives aren't always easy, but the Donahues have plenty of love to get them through the hard times and more than enough talent to keep them on top. Highlighted by one classic Irving Berlin song after another and an array of dazzling production numbers.


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Apr 03, 2016

GREAT 1954 Hollywood vaudeville musical. Not sure why it is marketed so much as a Marilyn Monroe production - she is the only one on jacket sleeve, etc., but is billed third on the actual period show poster.
The movie could be called 'The Five Donahues' and is far more about the mom, dad, and three kids than Marilyn. Personally, I give higher marks to beautiful Mitzi Gaynor than Marilyn (YMMV).
Ethel Merman is terrific at age 44 as mom Donahue and does some great dancing, as does son Tim played by spry/thin Donald O'Connor (wow, what a terrific dancer). Ethel is wearing a fabulous white dress at the ending dance/song number. I did enjoy Marilyn's supine black dress number.
Robert Alton gets VERY high marks for his vaudevillian musical number staging.
Overall, this is an excellent Irving Berlin tribute to vaudeville live stage shows.

Froster May 29, 2012

Definitely falls into the "so awful it's worth seeing" category. Marilyn is in her "what the hell am I doing?" period, before she discovered her groove. Her self-conscious over-enunciating is unintentionally hilarious, and it's fun to watch her try, try, try to make sense of her lines. (She needn't have bothered). Merman, O'Connor, Dailey and Gaynor are all high-octane show biz; they're all on an entirely different planet, and one would be tempted to cut off their oxygen supply, if one believed it actually would do any good. Exhibit number one: the absurd "Lazy" number performed by Monroe supine on a divan (in quite possibly the worst costume worn in her entire career) whilst O'Connor and Gaynor gyrate around her like Kay Thompson on speed. However, when Marilyn sizzles through "Heat Wave", you realize exactly why she survived this turkey. Sex sold (even though it's more than a bit oversold), even in Eisenhower's heyday.

Veepea Jan 25, 2012

Not a very happy movie, not what I expected.


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