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Show of Shows Details


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


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