[box cover]

There's No Business Like Show Business

Marilyn Monroe: The Diamond Collection

  • Bus Stop
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  • How to Marry a Millionaire
  • Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days
  • The Seven Year Itch
  • There's No Business Like Show Business
  • The minimal plot of 1953's There's No Business Like Show Business involves The Five Donahues, a family vaudeville act led by pop Terry (Dan Dailey) and mom Molly (Ethel Merman) and featuring their three ultra-talented offspring: dancer/good girl Katy (Mitzi Gaynor), bland songbird Steve (Johnnie Ray) and black sheep Tim (Donald O' Connor). Steve decides to leave show biz to become a priest, which infuriates Dad. Tim is something of a drunk and womanizer, and his addition of a very ambitious hat check girl/singer (Marilyn Monroe) to the act cause familial tensions to erupt. All of this is sprinkled in between lots of Irving Berlin songs and big, splashy, over-the-top dance numbers — There's No Business Like Show Business was Fox's attempt to outdo MGM at the lavish Hollywood musical, and what it lacks in heart and brains, it more than makes up for in eye candy. Merman debuted the title tune on Broadway in "Annie Get Your Gun," and she seems less suited to the screen than the stage — chewing scenery, stiff, but so phenomenally talented you can't take your eyes off her. Dailey, Gaynor and O'Connor are at the top of their form, enthralling in the musical numbers but left adrift in the dramatic scenes by the limp script. Johnnie Ray, a huge singing star at the time with such popular hits as "Cry," "The Little White Cloud That Cried," and "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" under his belt, was added to the cast for his heart-throb appeal. Unfortunately, he couldn't act — mercifully, he's shipped off early on to become a priest and doesn't have many scenes, despite being billed above Gaynor in the credits. Marilyn Monroe, however, soars above the rest of the cast and gives a glimpse as to what a huge star she would later become — her comedic timing is flawless, her three musical numbers, especially the blatantly erotic "Heat Wave," are breathtaking. Fox's release of There's No Business Like Show Business is big, brassy and gorgeous, with a crisp, saturated picture in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) with clean Dolby Digital 4.0 or Dolby 2.0 stereo sound. Three theatrical trailers — one in Portuguese! — and trailers for all films in The Diamond Collection. Keep-case.
    —Betsy Bozdech

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