Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Show of Shows Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Basically a filmed vaudeville presentation, The Show of Shows was Warner Bros.' entry in the "all star, all talking, all singing and all dancing" sweepstakes of 1929. Though slightly better than MGM's [[Feature~V119999~Hollywood Revue of 1929~hollywoodrevueof1929]], the Warners entry pales in comparison to [[Feature~V92252~Fox Movietone Follies of 1929~foxmovietonefolliesof1929]] and [[Feature~V120061~Paramount on Parade~paramountonparade]], due mainly to the film's master of ceremonies, the insufferable [[Performer~P22892~Frank Fay~frankfay]]. Some of the individual acts seen in Show of Shows were pretty good, notably [[Performer~P42380~Winnie Lightner~winnielightner]]'s delightful Singing in the Bathtub (a spoof of [[Feature~V119999~Hollywood Revue of 1929~hollywoodrevueof1929]]'s Singin' in the Rain) and [[Performer~P4291~John Barrymore~johnbarrymore]]'s brilliant rendition of Richard III's soliloquy from Shakespeare's [[Feature~V72443~Henry VI~henryv]]. Also easy to take was "Floradora Sextette," featuring such luminaries as [[Performer~P43561~Myrna Loy~myrnaloy]], [[Performer~P49298~Patsy Ruth Miller~patsyruthmiller]] and cross-eyed comedian [[Performer~P72206~Ben Turpin~benturpin]], and "Eight Sister Acts," including such Hollywood siblings as Dolores and [[Performer~P15238~Helene Costello~helenecostello]], [[Performer~P6688~Sally Blane~sallyblane]] and [[Performer~P78190~Loretta Young~lorettayoung]] and [[Performer~P46261~Shirley Mason~shirleymason]] and [[Performer~P16786~Viola Dana~violadana]] (also teamed in this number are [[Performer~P66971~Ann Sothern~annsothern]] and [[Performer~P10068~Marion Byron~marionbyron]], who were not sisters). But for the most part, the acts are on a par with "Skull and Crossbones," a boring production number showcasing entertainer [[Performer~P42263~Ted Lewis~tedlewis]], and "Recitations," a one-joke affair in which three different anecdotes (related by [[Performer~P22892~Frank Fay~frankfay]], [[Performer~P22910~Louis Fazenda~louisefazenda]], [[Performer~P29971~Lloyd Hamilton~lloydhamilton]] and Bea Lillie) are melded into one. Show of Shows was originally released in two-color Technicolor but now exists only in black in white, save for the "Chinese Fantasy" number featuring crooner [[Performer~P43604~Nick Lucas~nicklucas]] and Warner Bros. contractee [[Performer~P43561~Myrna Loy~myrnaloy]]. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Dolores Costello
as Sister Act #1
John Barrymore
as Guest
Lois Wilson
as 'Bicycle Built for Two' sequence
Loretta Young
as Sister Act #6
Myrna Loy
as Guest
Richard Barthelmess
as Guest
Shirley Mason
as Sister Act #8
Ann Sothern
as Sister Act #7
Sally O'Neil
as Sister Act #2
Viola Dana
as Sister Act #8
Sally Blane
as Sister Act #6
Chester Conklin
as 'Bicycle Built for Two' sequence
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
as Guest
Helene Costello
as Sister Act #1
Alberta Vaughn
as Sister Act #5

Crew

Herb Magidson
Songwriter
Herman Ruby
Songwriter
Ned Washington
Songwriter
Ray Perkins
Songwriter
Edward Ward
Songwriter
Max Parker
Set Designer
Jack Haskell
Choreography
Larry Ceballos
Choreography
Darryl F. Zanuck
Production Supervisor
Louis Silvers
Conductor
Advertisement