What a Way to Go!

1964

What a Way to Go!

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

25%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 8

66%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 516
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Movie Info

This lavishly produced, big-budget comedy (it cost $20 million in 1964 dollars) stars Shirley MacLaine as Louisa, a widow who is worth $200 million dollars. However, she's convinced that her fortune is cursed, and she wants to give all her money to the IRS. As she explains her sad tale to her psychiatrist, Dr. Stephanson (Robert Cummings), it seems that when Louisa was young she had the choice of marrying rich playboy Leonard Crawley (Dean Martin) or poor but decent Edgar Hopper (Dick Van Dyke). She chose Edgar, but soon he became obsessed with providing a fine home and fortune for her; he got rich but worked himself to death in the process. Despondent, Louisa flies to Paris, where she strikes up a romance with expatriate artist Larry Flint (Paul Newman). When Larry invents a machine that creates paintings based on sounds, he becomes wealthy and famous -- and dies. Louisa returns to America, where she figures to break her streak by marrying Rod (Robert Mitchum), a business tycoon who already has lots of money. He resolves to take life easier and becomes a farmer, only to die in a strange accident with a bull. Louisa is drowning her sorrows one night at a sleazy night spot when she falls for second rate entertainer Jerry (Gene Kelly). They marry, and a now-wealthy Jerry develops a relaxed, carefree quality to his act that makes him a huge star, which leads to his being crushed by a mob of his biggest fans. What a Way to Go! boasted a screenplay by Betty Comdon and Adolph Green that featured many amusing film parodies and a score by Nelson Riddle; it also marked the final screen appearance of comic actress Margaret Dumont, best remembered as Groucho Marx's straight woman in several films. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast

Shirley MacLaine
as Louisa May Foster
Paul Newman
as Larry Flint
Robert Mitchum
as Rod Anderson, Jr.
Dean Martin
as Leonard 'Lennie' Crawley
Gene Kelly
as Jerry Benson
Robert Cummings
as Dr. Stephanson
Dick Van Dyke
as Edgar Hopper
Margaret Dumont
as Mrs. Foster
Roy Gordon
as Minister
Phil Arnold
as Publicity and Press Agent
Dick Wilson
as Driscoll
Lou Nova
as Tentino
Fifi D'Orsay
as Baroness
Larry Kent
as Hollywood Lawyer
Jane Wald
as Polly
Lenny Kent
as Hollywood Lawyer
Sid Gould
as Movie Executive
Paula Lauc
as Movie Executive's Girl
Army Archerd
as TV Announcer
Tracy Butler
as Movie Star
Anton Arnold
as Mr. Foster
Burt Mustin
as Crawleyville Lawyer
Pamelyn Ferdin
as Geraldine Crawley (age 4)
Jeff Fithian
as Jonathan Crawley (age 5)
Billy Corcoran
as Leonard Crawley (age 7)
Queenie Leonard
as Lady Kensington
Tom Conway
as Lord Kensington
Barbara Bouchet
as Girl on Plane
Marjorie Bennett
as Mrs. Freeman
Marcel Hillaire
as French Lawyer
Eugene Borden
as Neighbor
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Critic Reviews for What a Way to Go!

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (6)

Audience Reviews for What a Way to Go!

  • Jun 11, 2012
    Silly shenanigans with Shirley a daffy delight as she works through a series of husbands and crazy production numbers. Her costumes have to be seen to be believed.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Nov 19, 2008
    A delightful confection of a movie made primarily to showcase Edith Head's sumptuous outfits. It's really an experience to see all these big stars having a grand old time f-cking each other in a big glass of champagne. A satire of sorts, but the main purpose of seeing this movie is to have FUN, because you're never gonna see anything like this again.
    Jennifer X Super Reviewer

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