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Billy Rose's Jumbo (BD) [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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(Oct 08, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

Jumbo is a mighty talented elephant. It's also the ideal word to describe this big-time, big-top extravaganza bursting with laughter and love, sang and dance, circus stunts and star power. Radiant Doris Day sings beloved Rodgers and Hart tunes and does her own horseback riding tricks in a razzle-dazzle musical based on Billy Rose's stage spectacular and featuring circus sequences directed by Busby Berkeley. The story revolves around a circus owner (Jimmy Durante, star of the 1935 Broadway original) with only two real attractions: his daughter (Day) and popular pachyderm Jumbo. Three-ring pandemonium breaks out when a handsome rival (Stephen Boyd) infiltrates the circus, and father, daughter and Dad's wise-cracking fiancé (Martha Raye) are suddenly at risk of losing the greatest show on earth!

Special Features

  • Musical short Yours Sincerely
  • Tom and Jerry cartoon Jerry and Jumbo
  • Original overture rejoined to the film
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Doris Day, Stephen Boyd, Jimmy Durante, Martha Raye
  • Directors: Charles Walters
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: October 8, 2013
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,755 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Doris Day shines in this extravaganza, which was to be her last big musical; she is flawless vocally, and the melodic score contains some of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's most loved songs.

Her co-stars are equally strong, with the rambunctious pair of Jimmy Durante (as Doris' father) and Martha Raye (as Durante's ever-patient fiancée), and when either of them are on the screen, it is mega-kilowatt entertainment. Nearly 30 years before this film, Durante had been in cast of the original 1934 Broadway production, and it's also wonderful to hear Martha Raye sing the "Why Can't I ?" duet with Doris, as her great talents as a singer were rarely recognized.

Always a favorite of mine, Stephen Boyd is excellent as Doris' love interest. His beautiful speaking voice, mellow with a slight tinge of Irish, does well with the spoken/sung intro to "Sawdust, Spangles, and Dreams", but his two songs (the other being "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World"), are dubbed in by the rich voice of James Joyce.

Many genuine circus acts perform throughout the film, and the stunt work for the stars is seamlessly edited in. Jumbo the elephant of course, is the 5th star of the film, and he gives a "thumbs up" performance.

The lavish production has many magical moments, and though most of it is pure fantasy, it captures the feel of "on the road performers" that anyone who has done a lot of touring in any theatrical field will appreciate.

Kudos to director Charles Winters, and cinematographer William H. Daniels for their work in this film, which is superb family entertainment. Total running time is 123 minutes.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
BILLY ROSE'S JUMBO makes it's long-awaited DVD release. The movie was one of the last hig musical hurrah's from MGM, and it was also Doris Day's last movie musical role. She shines as Kitty Wonder, the bareback-riding queen of the Wonder Circus.

Based around the classic Rodgers and Hart musical (with a new storyline devised by Sidney Sheldon). Pop Wonder (Jimmy Durante, who also headlined the original 30s' Hippodrome production) owns the magical Wonder Circus, famous for it's star attraction, Jumbo the elephant. His daughter Kitty, and on-again off-again squeeze Lulu (Martha Raye) complete his family. When the mysterious Sam Rawlins (Stephen Boyd) arrives to become the new tightrope aerialist, Kitty instantly falls in love with him, but Sam hides the secret that he is the son of the Wonders' main adversary, John Noble (Dean Jagger) owner of the Noble Circus.

Tempers and emotions run high as John Noble takes away Pop's beloved circus..and even Jumbo. It's up to Sam to unite the feuding clans and reclaim Kitty's heart.

Lavish, tuneful entertainment. Doris Day suits the role of Kitty to a tee and looks lovely in her Morton Haack-designed costumes. Stephen Boyd aquits himself quite well in a rare musical role. Jimmy Durante and Martha Raye are wonderful as feuding `odd couple' Pop and Lulu.

Several real circus acts and performers appear to add extra authenticity to the circus scenes; Doris Day performed many of her own stunts. Songs include "Over and Over Again" (Day performs most of her acrobatic tricks here), "Why Can't I?
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Format: DVD
By 1962, the MGM movie musicals that made up one of the genre's golden ages had disappeared. GIGI in 1958 was the last great musical from the old masters at that studio (in GIGI's case it was Arthur Freed and Vincente Minnelli), and JUMBO was pretty much the end of the trail for Joe Pasternak and Charles Walters. Walters would go on to direct 1964's popular MOLLY BROWN, but that film is a shadow of what it could have been if the right cast had been secured (some think Doris Day was meant for Molly, and she would have been good no doubt, but it was really designed for Shirley MacLaine). Day's last musical film was JUMBO, and, as such, it's a nifty way to say goodbye to the sunny, ebullient, effortlessly engaging actress's musical career. Day was one of the screen's most popular and talented actresses by any standards, and seeing her in this lightweight, funny, romantic slapdash of Rodgers and Hart tunes, circus troubles, and other songs interpolated from newer sources is not a bad way to spend an evening. The cast is very fine indeed, even the stiffer than wood Stephen Boyd, and how can you go wrong with both Jimmy Durante AND Martha Raye? It's all very bright and has nothing at all to do with reality, which makes it work well as a movie musical. The film includes one of the best circus numbers ever put on film - "Over and Over Again" - with an entire circus rehearsing their various acts to a sweeping waltz that builds and builds to ecstasy. But there are also "My Romance", "Little Girl Blue", and "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World".

This new DVD has a sparkling picture and terrific stereo sound, and the long forgotten overture is now back in place. Wonderful, old-fashioned family entertainment of the best sort from an era when film musicals were undergoing a change from MGM glory to big-budget roadshow extravagance. It also gives us that triple-threat talent Doris Day front and center, and what more could one ask for?
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Billy Rose's Jumbo (BD) [Blu-ray]
This item: Billy Rose's Jumbo (BD) [Blu-ray]
Price: $16.99
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