There's No Business Like Show Business - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

There's No Business Like Show Business Reviews

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½ August 2, 2017
Not something I need to see twice.
½ June 16, 2017
With an all-star cast and an Irving Berlin score of both old and new songs, this gaudy Fox musical still doesn't have very much going for it; the corny storyline keeps getting in the way of some OK musical numbers, the highlight being Marilyn Monroe's "Heat Wave."
½ May 7, 2015
There's No Business Like Show Business is an amazing film. It is about a singing group called the Five Donahues. Ethel Merman and Marilyn Monroe give incredible performances. The screenplay is well written. Walter Lang did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the humor and music. There's No Business Like Show Business is a must see.
½ March 6, 2015
There's basically no story, but if you're in the mood for some splashy musical numbers it delivers.
½ January 8, 2015
Could it drag anymore.
October 20, 2014
The thing to remember about this film is that it's not about the plot. It just has enough plotline to link together fantastic footage of Marilyn in her prime as well as some great Irving Berlin music. As long as you keep that in mind and not take it seriously, you can really enjoy the film. It's long for a musical though--I would have chopped two of the song and dance numbers off, had I done it myself. That Alexander's Ragtime Band number went on seemingly forever.
September 24, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

The title song of this film was one of those tunes that I simply knew due to other films or television series paying homage or make fun of it. I recall myself singing the song in my head, particularly during moments when I pretend to be like an actor or singer of some kind. It is too bad the rest of the film couldn't match the power that titular song was able to deliver.

The film mainly falls apart in its ability to prioritisation, it clearly wants to be a musical and they work it into the stories and background of its characters but it simply fails to bring anything significant. The bulk of the songs that are being performed, which are the ones that take place on a stage, lacked variation in personality and connecting very little to the personal lives of its characters. The audience almost gains no opportunity to see how this talented family develop their music or acts, we simply have to accept the fact that it flows out of their minds with no hiccups. The title of the film seems to draw its audiences in, thinking its story would reflect a somewhat accurate depiction of the profession and the personal life that comes with it, but the film goes around it by driving its core story with a romance and light drama. I would have honestly been content if the film simply told a romantic tale with Tim and Vicky, but the musical numbers of the film gets too much in the way, leaving me forgetful of the fact that it was actually trying to tell a story. Though in saying this, there were some that were entertaining, particularly the ones that takes place outside the stage and featuring Donald O'Connor; I am a sucker for musicals with spontaneous and unfathomable singing.

The film's costume design and set designs were marvellous, as expected from an Old Hollywood musical, and capturing it with Cinemascope made it all the more glorious. There were a couple of moments that felt too obvious that I was watching a set as backgrounds, during intimate and dumb-ed down scenes, were stripped off in detail, ultimately coming off as dull and lifeless. I think this is just me being a nit-picker and the fact that the film's story wasn't strong enough to completely immerse me into the characters and their problems.

So far it has been two films from Donald O'Connor that I have seen, and both of them are musicals. I feel that he is an underrated actor-singer-dancer, there were so many scene stealing moments in this film from him, leaving me confused on why the hell wasnâ??t he nominated by the Academy; well at least for Singin' in the Rain. He brings life to his roles by injecting them with slapstick and quirkiness. His comedic timing feels ahead of its time, which I feel could still appeal to the audiences of today. Another I want to bring up was Marilyn Monroe's performance as Vicky Parker. It is always pleasing to watch the actress not play a character that is inherently shallow or clueless as watching her playing roles like that feels too easy and at times a bit lazy. Her role doesn't break any grounds like her role in River of No Return but it is a slight variation of the typical roles she play; her character here is not the centre of attention which helped significantly in making her performance feel effective. The chemistry that she and Donald bring together on screen is one of the key aspects that had me somewhat engaged with the romantic elements of the film. There was certainly a mismatch in physical appearances but the internal connection between them was established beautifully.

I could only recommend this film if one is a die-hard fan of Walter Lang, Irving Berlin or the film's cast.
September 23, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

The title song of this film was one of those tunes that I simply knew due to other films or television series paying homage or make fun of it. I recall myself singing the song in my head, particularly during moments when I pretend to be like an actor or singer of some kind. It is too bad the rest of the film couldn't match the power that titular song was able to deliver.

The film mainly falls apart in its ability to prioritisation, it clearly wants to be a musical and they work it into the stories and background of its characters but it simply fails to bring anything significant. The bulk of the songs that are being performed, which are the ones that take place on a stage, lacked variation in personality and connecting very little to the personal lives of its characters. The audience almost gains no opportunity to see how this talented family develop their music or acts, we simply have to accept the fact that it flows out of their minds with no hiccups. The title of the film seems to draw its audiences in, thinking its story would reflect a somewhat accurate depiction of the profession and the personal life that comes with it, but the film goes around it by driving its core story with a romance and light drama. I would have honestly been content if the film simply told a romantic tale with Tim and Vicky, but the musical numbers of the film gets too much in the way, leaving me forgetful of the fact that it was actually trying to tell a story. Though in saying this, there were some that were entertaining, particularly the ones that takes place outside the stage and featuring Donald O'Connor; I am a sucker for musicals with spontaneous and unfathomable singing.

The film's costume design and set designs were marvellous, as expected from an Old Hollywood musical, and capturing it with Cinemascope made it all the more glorious. There were a couple of moments that felt too obvious that I was watching a set as backgrounds, during intimate and dumb-ed down scenes, were stripped off in detail, ultimately coming off as dull and lifeless. I think this is just me being a nit-picker and the fact that the film's story wasn't strong enough to completely immerse me into the characters and their problems.

So far it has been two films from Donald O'Connor that I have seen, and both of them are musicals. I feel that he is an underrated actor-singer-dancer, there were so many scene stealing moments in this film from him, leaving me confused on why the hell wasn't he nominated by the Academy; well at least for Singin' in the Rain. He brings life to his roles by injecting them with slapstick and quirkiness. His comedic timing feels ahead of its time, which I feel could still appeal to the audiences of today. Another I want to bring up was Marilyn Monroe's performance as Vicky Parker. It is always pleasing to watch the actress not play a character that is inherently shallow or clueless as watching her playing roles like that feels too easy and at times a bit lazy. Her role doesn't break any grounds like her role in River of No Return but it is a slight variation of the typical roles she play; her character here is not the centre of attention which helped significantly in making her performance feel effective. The chemistry that she and Donald bring together on screen is one of the key aspects that had me somewhat engaged with the romantic elements of the film. There was certainly a mismatch in physical appearances but the internal connection between them was established beautifully.

I could only recommend this film if one is a die-hard fan of Walter Lang, Irving Berlin or the film's cast.
February 20, 2014
My voice teacher is gone with the wind.

The Donahue Family are a local act that has delusions of grandeur but they seem destined to remain at their current level. Their son falls in love with an aspiring singer who is a knock out blond that needs work and direction. The love affair tears the rest of the family's ambitions apart and may ultimately lead to the demise of the aspiring singer's career as well.

"A sailor is not a sailor until a sailor has been tattooed."

Walter Lang, director of The King and I, The Little Princess, State Fair, Coney Island, Greenwich Village, Star Dust, and Money to Burn, delivers There's No Business Like Show Business. The storyline for this is actually just okay. The conclusion is very good but the music numbers are only moderately entertaining and I found the characters more annoying than intriguing. The cast delivers okay performances and includes Marilyn Monroe, Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O'Connor, Rhy Williams, and Mitzi Gaynor.

"We can start a fire without rubbing two sticks together."

I was coaxed to begin watching Marilyn Monroe movie some years ago and I found this on Netflix and decided to give it a chance; unfortunately, this was not as good as I had hoped. The characters were not as well delivered as they could have been and I found the picture to be a poor man's Singing in the Rain. This isn't a complete waste of time but I wouldn't recommend it either.

"After you get what you want you don't want it."

Grade: C+
December 9, 2013
Johnnie Ray was enjoyable, & not a whole lot else.
½ October 16, 2013
The story wanders, but hey! it's a great Irving Berlin salute! Don't look for great acting, though.
½ August 12, 2013
Enjoyable but light musical that works thanks to its exceptional cast & musical numbers but lack of plot or any real conflict keeps it from barely becoming a movie. Worth streaming on Netflix.
August 10, 2013
Mitzi gaynor preciosa..y de verdad esa Monroe..para nada..meh ..mas mala actuando ahi!
February 13, 2013
not that good has a few good sing and dance numbers but not my cup pf tea
½ January 14, 2013
Not the best Marilyn movie, nor after watching it would you think her to be a main character. If you like musicals, you'll like this, if you don't like musicals, you still might like it, but if I recall there are two particular times when the musical numbers last for what seems to be 10 minutes, and you start asking yourself, "from where did this come about?".

the start of the movie is such a number, and you wonder if the movie is like a filmed play or something until you realize the plot is about theater people and their lives, so much of the musical numbers are their plays and such, which does help for those who don't like random singing in musicals.
January 5, 2013
Loved dancing and vocal scenes, they are just perfectly staged and played!
December 7, 2012
Will have to watch this one. Not necassarily good or bad. Will see. Want to watch!
½ December 3, 2012
Marilyn's hardly in it, and the plot was super dry. I didn't really like this film, to be honest.
November 22, 2012
all star cast in this lavish technicolor musical
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