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Anything Goes

3.7 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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(Sep 27, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In ANYTHING GOES, Bill Benson and Ted Adams are to appear in a Broadway show together and, while in Paris, each 'discovers' the perfect leading lady for the star female role. Unfortunately, they each promise the role to the girl they selected without informing the other until they head back home – with their leading ladies!

This is the second film titled Anything Goes to star Bing Crosby (the first was a 1936 film). Both films change a lot of the original Cole Porter stage musical, but at least the later version keeps a few more Porter songs. Still, there is something odd about a Cole Porter film filled with "additional songs" by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen (perhaps Porter's work was not warm and cuddly enough for 1956 America, although it seemed to work well at MGM with High Society, released the same year). Crosby plays a Broadway star teamed up with young TV hotshot Donald O'Connor. Vacationing separately in Europe and needing a leading lady for their upcoming show, each signs a prospect--Crosby snaps up Mitzi Gaynor (at her perkiest) and O'Connor finds Jeanmaire, a French dancer. The show can only have one female star, so when the quartet crosses paths on the ocean liner back to the U.S., sparks will fly. Or not--this Paramount musical lacks any definable zip, from the sleepy dialogue to the listless camera. The capable Nick Castle staged the musical sequences, although Jeanmaire's numbers were choreographed by Roland Petit (also her husband). The Porter songs are half-heartedly rendered, although O'Connor and Gaynor get some oomph into "It's De-Lovely." Der Bingle was born to burble "Blow, Gabriel, Blow," but it's too little, too late. --Robert Horton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Bing Crosby, Donald O'Connor, Zizi Jeanmaire, Mitzi Gaynor, Phil Harris
  • Directors: Robert Lewis
  • Writers: Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Sidney Sheldon
  • Producers: Robert Emmett Dolan
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: September 27, 2005
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A6T1I6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,782 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Anything Goes" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAME on November 23, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
ANYTHING GOES was Bing Crosby's final film with Paramount, and was perhaps an attempt to capatalise on the huge success of WHITE CHRISTMAS (but more about that later). Donald O'Connor, Mitzi Gaynor and lithsome ballet star Zizi Jeanmaire appear alongside.

The film really bears no similarity to the Broadway "Anything Goes" save for the wonderful Cole Porter score (and even that has been somewhat ransacked with several inferior additions from Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen). The original production of "Anything Goes" was written by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, with later revisions by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The film ditches the entire original story in favour of a Sidney Sheldon-penned screenplay.

The story concerns a suave Broadway star (Bing Crosby) who is paired with a brash TV personality (Donald O'Connor) in a new Broadway show. Whilst on separate vacations, they each hire who they believe is the ideal leading-lady for the upcoming show: a pretty blonde American showgirl (Gaynor) and a dramatic Parisian cabaret star (Jeanmaire). They all board the luxury liner headed back to New York, trying their best to decide on which girl they will have to drop...but of course, love wins the day.

With the huge success of WHITE CHRISTMAS, Paramount hoped to capatilise on it's success by having Bing star in another 4-hander "catalogue" musical, built around the Cole Porter-"Anything Goes" score. What emerged was hardly a hit, but ANYTHING GOES is a charming afternoon of entertainment.

Zizi Jeanmaire is ideally-showcased in 2 routines staged by her husband Roland Petit: a rousing "I Get a Kick Out of You" and a striking "Dream Ballet".
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Format: DVD
Anything Goes boasts a great cast. Bing Crosby and Donald O'Connor play two entertainers called Bill Benson and Ted Adams respectively; and Mitzi Gaynor and Zizi Jeanmarie play dancing actresses named Patsy Blair and Gaby Duval respectively.

The plot revolves around the world of entertainment. Bill and Ted are going to perform in a Broadway show together; and with their terribly fat egos both men simply assume that they have the exclusive prerogative to choose the leading lady for the show. On the bright side, both Bill and Ted choose very talented young ladies to play the leading female role. Bill chooses American dancer Patsy Blair; and Ted chooses the French starlet Gaby Duval. However, trouble heats up fast when neither man can get up the gumption to tell one of the two ladies that she is not needed for the show after all. When all four of them are on a ship headed from Europe to New York where the show will open things only become more complicated. How will Bill and Ted handle this sticky situation? Will they have a tug of war over which one has to do the dirty work of firing one of the ladies? Will each lady stay when they discover that only one of them is needed? No spoilers here, folks--you'll have to watch the movie to find out!

They all do a superlative job with the script that they're given which, by Hollywood musical standards, is still rather thin. The singing and dancing is what carries this movie, especially when Patsy (Mitzi Gaynor) and her male backup dancers perform "Anything Goes." I loved the panache with which Gaby Duval (Zizi Jeanmarie) and her backup dancers perform both "I Get A Kick Out Of You" as well as the extravagant and elegant "dream sequence" when Gaby imagines herself dancing with people in Times Square.
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Format: DVD
While MGM was soaring to new creative heights with their screen adaptations of Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate (1953) and Silk Stockings (1957) and originals High Society (1956) and Les Girls (1957), Paramount produced this watered-down completely new version of his Anything Goes. Paramount filmed Porter's Anything Goes twice, in 1936 and 1956, both versions starring Bing Crosby. They didn't get it right either time, but if you forget the source material the 1956 version represented here, while not a classic, is still an enjoyable movie in its own right.

This is a musical and what's most important are the songs and dances which are handled very well by the talented cast headed by Crosby and co-starring Donald O'Connor, Zizi Jeanmaire and Mitzi Gaynor. When the plot gets a bit stale which is often it's interrupted by a lively song or dance. Five of Porter's songs from the original stage production are represented here:

1) Anything Goes- a very colorful number with a typically exuberant Gaynor performance. Note the lyric change from "four-letter words" to "three-letter words".

2) I Get a Kick Out of You- performed by Jeanmaire with a male chorus in a style obviously influenced by Bob Fosse.

3) All Through the Night- sung well by Crosby by moonlight on shipboard and danced by Jeanmaire in the obligatory '50's dream sequence ballet.

4) You're the Top- performed by the four principals in a split-screen technique to show off the "wonders" of VistaVision.

5) Blow, Gabriel, Blow- the big finale with all four stars.

One number, It's De-Lovely, interpolated from Porter's 1936 stage show Red, Hot and Blue, is given enjoyable treatment sung and danced by O'Connor and Gaynor.
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