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4.6 out of 5 stars 150 customer reviews

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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!

Product Details

  • Actors: Doris Day, Stephen Boyd, Jimmy Durante, Martha Raye, Dean Jagger
  • Directors: Charles Walters
  • Producers: Joe Pasternak
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Archive Collection
  • DVD Release Date: October 8, 2013
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,580 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 25, 2005
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
If there is any question in anyone's mind as to why Doris Day is ranked by the distinguished annual Quigley Poll of top ten box-office stars, as the number one female star of all time, it will be put to rest by this great collection.

There is something for everyone contained in this beautiful set, complete with a nice array of extras.

Contained herein are films produced over a 16 year period and clearly showing that Miss Day could do it all - sing, dance, act in dramas or show a comic skill that few if any have come close to rivaling.

"Young Man With a Horn" featuring Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall gives Miss Day a great chance to emote skillfully and to render perfect renditions of several great band tunes. It's a well-made drama and her first film to play New York's famous Radio City Music Hall. In "Lullaby of Broadway" she sings, dances and dazzles as only Doris can with a wonderful cast of great character performers. She also gives the best rendition of the title tune ever recorded.

"Calamity Jane" allows Miss Day to let loose with a brilliantly executed performance as the famed woman of the wild west. She makes it her own, singing the Oscar winning "Secret Love" as well as delivering a powerhouse portrayal in a near perfect film co-starring Howard Keel, on loan from MGM. It's as good as anything Metro put out during their "Golden Age".

"Love Me or Leave Me", opposite James Cagney, is one of the most raw, real and no-holds barred biographical films ever turned out. Miss Day should have not only been nominated for an Oscar for her unforgettable performance as 20's singer Ruth Etting but should have won the prize.
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