Oregon Movies, A to Z

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There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954)

December 23rd, 2008 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · 1950's, Oregon actor, Oregon film, Oregon film new definition, Oregon musician, Oregon singer

That’s Oregonian Johnnie Ray on the right, next to Mitzi Gaynor. Marilyn Monroe, who plays the major plot point, is not pictured.

See this film if you are a completist, and must personally witness the deterioration of the Hollywood musical. Everyone else, do yourselves a favor and watch Ethel Merman in something, anything, else.

For people who are wondering why they never heard of this film — here’s why. Designed to showcase Irving Berlin’s music, it does a great job of steamrollering everything great out of his songs. Ditto the use made of Monroe, who elsewhere had proven herself a sexy, accomplished comedienne. Cast here as a humorless, driven  career girl, she is a big yawn, even when she is slithering across the screen dressed in almost nothing.

Strange but true: this story of a show biz family was written by Phoebe & Henry Ephron, the parents of three time Oscar nominee Nora Ephron.

Because of the presence of Johnnie Ray (who acquits himself admirably, given his apparent extreme stage fright, in his first, and last, movie role), I claim There’s No Business Like Show Business as an Oregon film.

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