There's No Business Like Show Business/B,A-
Fox/1954/118/ANA 2.55

   . I was surprised that I liked There’s No Business Like Show Business as much as I did this time out. My memory of the film did not create much expectation. The script is really little more than a string of musical numbers hung together like a strand of pearls. The story of the five Monahan's is their act. 
     Happily, quite a few of the musical numbers are delightfully executed, even though I find Ethel Merman especially hard to bare. My daughter squawked, “What a horrible voice.” I second the emotion. Donald O’Connor has a beautiful production number, A Man Chases a Girl. I never saw O’Connor put over a song with such elegance. The usually energetic Dan Daily is often a tad morose, but then he is saddled with Ethel Merman as his wife. Mitzi Gaynor is adorable as Katy Monahan. Her dance numbers with O’Connor are thoroughly delightful as is the wonderful work for the Monroe telephone number. Johnnie Ray, a hugely popular crooner at the time, is pretty stiff as the eldest son Steve who chooses the clothe over the greasepaint. Ray has the strangest way of creating vibrato in his songs with lateral jaw articulation and for some reason this left my daughter and I in stitches every time.

We're Having a Heat Wave. ©Fox

    Marilyn Monroe fans will find she’s as curvaceously slinky as ever, but it’s almost a half hour before she gets on the screen. She’s quite the magnet. Her three musical numbers are fun to watch. After You Get What You Want is hot breathy rendition;  Heat Wave displays more of her curves and Lazy is really stolen by the wonderful dance/song commentary of Gaynor and O’Connor. The color is simply spectacular. A measure of production design, costume design and cinematography, almost every scene is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s hard to believe they squeezed so many colors into those production numbers.
     The source material is outstanding providing a path for an excellent DVD transfer. Oh, the colors; the colors are a hyper-saturated explosion of rainbow excitement. They are at all times controlled and delivered beautifully.  The transfer is 2.55 though the package erroneously cites the film as 2.35.  There are some significant imbalances in the Dolby Digital 4.0 mix. During Mitzi Gaynor's section of Alexander's Ragtime Band her voice is unintelligibly sucked up. There was one other instance that exhibited a similar but not as severe problem. Otherwise, this is an upbeat musical mix with a nice splashy recording.





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