The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Meredith Willson's second Broadway hit (the first and biggest was The Music Man) proved a lucrative vehicle for the equally unsinkable Debbie Reynolds. Based on a true story, the film casts Debbie as hoydenish Molly Brown, who wangles her way into Denver High Society when she marries "overnight millionaire" Johnny Brown (Harve Presnell). When the local social arbiters give Molly the brush-off, she pulls off a coup by bringing a representative of European royalty, Prince Louis de Laniere (Vassili Lambrinos) into the Colorado community. Her admiration for the prince causes a rift in her marriage; it takes the sinking of the Titanic--wherein Molly heroically commandeers one of the lifeboats and is responsible for rescuing several of the passengers--to bring Molly and Johnny together again. While the energetic performances of such songs as I Ain't Down Yet and Belly Up to the Bar Boys are to be cherished, the real highlight of The Unsinkable Molly Brown is a society ball which ends up in a pie fight between the Denver "elite" and Molly's rambunctious mining-town cronies. Treated condescendingly by the critics, the film struck a responsive chord with audiences to the tune of a $7.5 million gross.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Classics , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
MGM Home Entertainment

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Cast

Debbie Reynolds
as Molly Brown
Harve Presnell
as 'Leadville' Johnny Brown
Ed Begley Sr.
as Shamus Tobin
Hermione Baddeley
as Buttercup Grogan
Jack Kruschen
as Christmas Morgan
Vassili Lambrinos
as Prince Louis de Laniere
Fred Essler
as Baron Karl Ludwig von Ettenburg
Lauren Gilbert
as Mr. Fitzgerald
Kathryn Card
as Mrs. Wadlington
Hayden Rorke
as Broderick
Harry Holcombe
as Mr. Wadlington
Amy Douglass
as Mrs. Fitzgerald
George Mitchell
as Monsignor Ryan
Martita Hunt
as Grand Duchess Elise Lupovinova
Vaughan Taylor
as Mr. Cartwright
Audrey Christie
as Mrs. McGraw
Mary Ann Niles
as Dancehall Girl
Ramsay Hill
as Lord Simon Primdale
Anna Lee
as Passenger
Ramsey Hill
as Lord Simon Primdale
Moyna MacGill
as Lady Primdale
Pat Benedetto
as Count Feranti
Mary Andre
as Countess Feranti
Pat Moran
as Vicar
Herb Vigran
as Spieler
Eleanor Audley
as Mrs. Cartwright
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Critic Reviews for The Unsinkable Molly Brown

All Critics (7)

Debbie Reynolds received her only Oscar nomination for playing the title role of this artistically mediocre but commercially popular musical comedy about the rags to riches of the Denver heroine who was also a passenger on the Titanic.

Full Review… | July 4, 2008
EmanuelLevy.Com

Razzle-dazzle biopic kept afloat by a determined Reynolds.

October 10, 2005
Film Journal International

There's a reason why Charles Walters' musicals are less remembered than Stanley Donen's.

August 14, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The movie sinks like the Titanic.

April 22, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

"Beware: The high spirits are contagious"

July 29, 2002
Kalamazoo Gazette

Audience Reviews for The Unsinkable Molly Brown

½

Debbie Reynolds has oodles of charm and sass. I liked her with Harve Presnell who reminded me of Howard Keel. It made for an enjoyable musical. My only criticism would be that the songs generally weren't very memorable. (First and only full viewing - 7/28/2010)

Adam R
Adam R

Ironically the survival of Molly Brown from the sinking of the Titanic making her unsinkable gets downplayed to a large degree in this film. It doesn't matter. Debbie Reynolds is ideally matched with an equally large role.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

½

debbie is brash and gives her all

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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