24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Anything Goes--up to a point, that is...,
This review is from: Anything Goes (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. Other musical numbers are more ordinary or even forgettable, especially the one in which Donald O'Connor as Ted Adams dances with some children on the ship to New York. Then again, the finale of the cast performing "Blow Gabriel Blow" has style and good taste; and "Blow Gabriel Blow" is a strong number to end this film.
The Technicolor still shines and the crystal clear sound will please you, too. The choreography of the dance scenes stuns you with its fastidious attention to detail and the cinematography frames the characters well in each frame. Excellent job on both counts!
The DVD offers nothing in the way of extras. You can view the whole movie straight through or just select scenes you wish to watch again; but that's the extent of it, I'm afraid. Sigh.
Nevertheless, Bing Crosby fans will delight in this version of Anything Goes. He sings and dances very, very well--and he makes it all look so easy. Of course, Donald O'Connor sparkles like the true champ that he always was in all his dancing scenes. Donald's energy, combined with the energy of Mitzi Gaynor and Zizi Jeanmarie, pops out at you and all three performers dance and sing to hold your attention well.
I must caution that the plot runs thin in this movie. However, many musicals of this era had this characteristic so perhaps you won't be surprised. I recommend this movie for fans of the great Hollywood musicals of the 1940s and 1950s. In the final analysis, I give Anything Goes four stars instead of five because of the thin plot and a few numbers that just don't quite do the trick.