There's No Business Like Show Business

There's No Business Like Show Business

Blu-ray Disc - 2012
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A movie musical stringing together a number of Irving Berlin songs written for earlier Broadway musicals. An ambitious and beautiful showgirl catches the eye of a son in the veteran vaudeville family act. But when Vicky steals Tim's heart, his loyalties to his talented clan will be tested, and the show business life will to be more surprising and entertaining than anyone thought possible.

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m
ManMachine
Nov 07, 2018

I think that this 1954 Musical/Comedy/Romance picture would've been better off being titled "There's No Business Like 'Marilyn Monroe' Business". Indeed!

Containing 16 Irving Berlin songs (usually accompanied by plenty of dancing) - This $4.5 million production was a literal box-office flop upon its initial release.

Personally, I think that the detrimental casting of actress/singer, Ethel Merman (whose vocals talents were absolutely atrocious) was clearly a major disadvantage to the overall success of this particular picture.

Yet. On the other hand - Not only did the 28-year-old Marilyn Monroe sparkle in her musical numbers. But - She also proved herself to be a very competent singer, as well.

(*Be sure to watch the Monroe "Heat Wave" video*)

t
ThomasJWhiting
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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