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There's No Business Like Show Business (The Diamond Collection)

Ethel Merman , Marilyn Monroe , Walter Lang    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 37.84
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Product Details

Product Description


This 1954 dinosaur brings together two giants of Broadway, Ethel Merman and Irving Berlin, just as their moment was passing forever, to create one last hurrah: a celebration of the glories that were vaudeville. Still, it's hard to imagine that Broadway--or nightclub entertaining, for that matter--was ever quite this lavish and satisfying. The story centers on a married couple, the Donahues (Dan Dailey and Merman), who live on the road as vaudeville entertainers, and since they have children, begin incorporating the kids into the act. Eventually, the kids grow up to be Donald O'Connor, Mitzi Gaynor, and Johnny Ray, and they begin having interests of their own. Donald's is an ambitious showgirl (Marilyn Monroe), whose standoffish response to his romantic overtures drives him to drink. Best for its lavish, splashy production numbers built around some of the best of the Berlin songbook, including the title tune and "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody." --Marshall Fine

Product Description

An all-star cast that includes Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Marilyn Monroe, Donald O'Connor, Johnnie Ray and Mitzi Gaynor sparks this tuneful Irving Berlin musical that depicts the trials and triumphs of a veteran vaudeville family. Molly (Merman) and Terry (Dailey) Donahue start out as a duo and keep adding kids to the act until they finally become The 5 Donahues. Their busy, sometimes tumultuous lives aren't always easy, but the Donahues have plenty of love to get them through the hard times and more than enough talent to keep them on top. Highlighted by one classic Irving Berlin song after another and an array of dazzling production numbers, this upbeat, utterly delightful tale of life on the stage proves, beyond and doubt, that There's No Business Like Show Business!

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Musical entertainment Nov. 10 2013
By Diane Edwards TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Pretty good song and dance movie. Pure entertainment and fun to watch. If you like musicals like me then please by all means watch this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What's a 'title'? Nov. 29 2011
I don't have time to give a review that it at least 20 words long. What's wrong with just giving a star rating?
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's the Five Donahues.............. April 14 2004
Ok Ok. I have been a lifelong Marilyn Monroe fan since childhood, I love her. But when you are a Marilyn fan you have to put up with hit and miss movies. No Business is one of them. When Marilyn is on the screen singing and dancing, the movie is all hers. Who doesn't love the Heat Wave number? The rest of the movie is a drag and unless you are a huge Ethyl Merman fan (?) this film doesn't have much to offer.
This is a musical with a very light plot; the story of the Donahue Family in show business. The two sons grow up to be a couple of dorks. The one who wants to be a priest is just scary. He acts like a Peter O'Tool derelict with a murderous smile. The other one is driven over the edge by Marilyn's lack of interest and joins the Navy.
Like I said, if you are a Marilyn fan, there are scenes in this film that you must have. If youare not a Marilyn fan, well you got Ethyl and Berlin music.
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4.0 out of 5 stars BETTY GRABLE WHY DID'NT YOU DO THIS MOVIE? March 21 2004
Betty Grable was supposed to play the Ethel merman part , but looked to young to be a mother of grown ups Donald O'Conner , Mitzi Gaynor and Johnny Ray so they hired Merman.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must Have Musical Feb. 20 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I think this is one of the best musicals available. And- if you're into musicals this one you need to get. Since Hollywood refuses to make musicals you better latch on to this one while you can. I think the color and the musical numbers are wonderful! And in those days they used better color for films than they do today! For color films and for tv viewing they use cheap color. Many people has told me that they thought their tv was fading out and had a foggy color to it. I've told them it's not their tv at all. The best color was always used back in the 40's and 50's. I see nothing ethnically wrong in the film that would be wrong. People are just too too sensitive these days and now they are picking the old films apart. They need to learn how to get over it. I am so glad that they have not destroyed these old films because 98 per cent of the films today are trash and will never become classics such as this one. When all the great producers and directors and screenwriters pass away there just seems like no one can take their place. They knew what they were doing back then. The craftsmanship has been lost.
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3.0 out of 5 stars We're having a heat wave.... Sept. 20 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Opening text: "Back in 1919, Vaudeville was a very big part of Show Business. Our story is about the Donahues, a very little part of Vaudeville."
Yes, the trials and triumphs of the Donahues are examined from 1919 to World War II. They go from being the Two Donahues to The Five Donahues, with variances inbetween. There are the parents, Molly and Terrance, and their three offspring, Steven, Katy, and Tim, whose adult careers are also covered.
However, the real drama involves the two sons. Steven decides to become a priest, which upsets the father. However, his mother and Katy are supportive. It's all a matter of perspective. For Steve, it's a change in venue, only the church has had a pretty long run. Tim becomes romantically involved with aspiring blonde singer Vicky Parker, played by (guess who?) and runs into all sorts of ups and downs. However, he gets jealous when he suspects he's having an affair with the producer, Lew Harris.
The musical numbers vary from extravagant and splashy to simplistic, and it's the latter that play better, such as the "Lazy" number featuring Monroe, Gaynor, and O'Connor. However, the "Heat Wave" number, with Latin rhythms fused with the usual big band stuff and MM's hot costume, is a highlight. And the lengthy "Alexander's Ragtime Band" may offend those of German, French, and Scottish ancestry who don't like this glossy cariacaturing of their ethnicity, i.e. costumes and bogus accents. Still, the bright colours are praiseworthy.
The interractions between Ethel Merman and Dan Dailey work the best, as the parents who want the best for their children and struggle. At one point, they buy a house in Jersey, but what a time for a mortgage, especially during the Depression.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Has it's moments, but mostly DULLSVILLE Sept. 5 2003
By Coleen
Format:VHS Tape
Of all the Marilyn Monroe DVDs I've seen (about 7) this was the only one I didn't take to. Of course when Marilyn's on the screen, it's great, but the rest of the time I found it to be forced and Ethel Merman just seemed annoying. The family was dullsville and I never want to see it again! It wasn't awful, just not worthy of Marilyn.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One hell of a good show ! Sept. 1 2003
Format:VHS Tape
They don't make 'em like this any more ! Of course, some will say "Thank Goodness" ! Still , it's a pleasant enough musical yarn and worth a look if only for the production numbers which are some of the best ever filmed .. not so much "Spectacular" or expansive as in your Busby Berkley /Ester Williams variety but just very "Classy" with a "Rich" and sumptusous look about them. Johnnie Ray's performance of "Alexander's Ragtime Band" is an absolute knock out. I've never been a huge fan of Marilyn's but you can't take anything away from her in regard to her contribution to this movie. She did her "Bit" with alot of panache and turned in one of her best performances. I really , honestly believe that this is a much under rated picture. "Sunset Boulevard" it AIN'T but it's one hell of a good show . It remains a wonderful piece of 1950s Hollywood smaltz and I love it !
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