This isnít the most recognisable Marilyn Monroe film ever made. In it, she only has third billing, behind Ethel Merman and Donald OíConnor, and just in front of some other people I canít remember and couldnít care less about.
Itís the typical overblown, over-melodramatic, over-indulgent, over-cooked Hollywood musical from the hands of Mr. Irving ďHow about another song here?Ē Berlin and Darryl F. ďSure, we only have 12 songs so farĒ Zanuck.
The reason for this songfest is the all singing, all dancing Donahues. Mom and pop Donahue are old school vaudeville stage pros, having hoofed and bellowed for years, thinking they were pretty hot shit.
Is Mrs. Donahue played by Marilyn, you ask? No, she isnít.
Along with the ups and downs of their career come three kids, who naturally fall into the profession, creating a family act that preceded the Partridge Family by a good 60 years.
Is one of the kids played by Marilyn, you ask? No she isnít.
So, we follow the family as they go through their act, as one goes off to be a priest, as another becomes a drunk and as the rest just keep hoofing away like fools.
Eventually, a new act appears on the horizon, in the shape of a lovely curvy lass who wants nothing more than to be a big song and dance stage star.
Is she played by Marilyn, you ask? No, sheís played by Lee Van Cleef in drag. What do you think? Of course sheís played by Marilyn!
Storywise, the family grows up, they sing some songs. Marilyn claws her way to the top, she sings some songs, they fall on hard times, they sing, things go well, they sing, something bad happens, they sing, it has a happy ending, they sing some more. Sometimes they even follow up a song with some more singing.
Needless to say, if you donít like singing in your films, then this isnít the DVD for you. Instead, might I suggest you try Any Given Sunday? They only sing one song in that, but itís a rap, so it doesnít count as real music. And it does have Al Pacino in it. But he isnít as good looking as Marilyn Monroe, so make up your own mind.
Song and dance, or Al Pacino, Marilyn and Al in a movie together would have been great.
Marilyn: Oh, Iím so lucky to have met you on this cruise. This is a dream for little old me. Just wait till I tell my friends!
Al: SHUT UP YOU WHORE! To me, youíre nothiní more thanÖ I donít knowÖ but believe me! Me, baby, Iím outta here! What the hell time is it!? Hoo-har!
Marilyn: ...but Al, honeyÖ
Al: WHOAH! What did I say? WHAT! Did I just say?!
So whereís this all going? Lemme thinkÖ ah yes, Iíve got it. This film is like a game of football. If you like football, and Collingwood are your favourite team, but you donít like Nathan Buckley, and Collingwood are playing, youíd be better off watching the tennis. Unless Leyton Hewitt is playing. Then youíre better off with the football. But barracking for the opposition. Yep, thatíll do it.