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  • In 1956 Bing Crosby wound up his 25 year old contract with Paramount pictures. It remains the second longest contract for any star with any studio, only exceeded by Robert Taylor with MGM. This second version of Anything Goes was his farewell film for the studio.

    Bing should have quit with White Christmas.

    Again, Hollywood under the Code was to squeamish about filming any of Cole Porter's musicals. As they did in 1936 with that version of Anything Goes, it was censored heavily. Cole Porter's original score did not make it intact to the screen again. Other Porter songs were used and a few numbers written by James Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn.

    As for the plot the only similarity is that it takes place on an ocean liner. In this one we have recent partners Bing Crosby and Donald O'Connor each signing a leading lady for their new Broadway show. Both of their finds, Zizi Jeanmaire and Mitzi Gaynor are on the ocean liner with them. Mix the inevitable romantic complications and if you're any kind of a movie fan you'll figure what the result will be.

    Phil Harris is also on hand as Mitzi Gaynor's father. One of the little known facts of Hollywood was that Harris was one of Bing Crosby's best friends in the motion picture capital. Harris had appeared with Bing previously in Here Comes the Groom, but that was only in one musical number. He has a nice turn here as a professional gambler that the IRS is looking to nail.

    Usually Bing Crosby movies are just that, Bing is normally partnered with non-musical talent. Here he has three talented performers to share the spotlight with. All have some good numbers. I particularly liked Donald O'Connor and Mitzi Gaynor singing and dancing to It's DeLovely.

    This was a reunion film for Crosby and O'Connor. Donald O'Connor got his first big break as a child actor in Bing's Sing You Sinners back in 1938. But that one was a far superior film.

    If you like the talented performers involved, this is a good film. But Paramount should have done better by Bing in his farewell film for them.
  • I haven't met a musical that I couldn't find something to like about it, so although the story is somewhat bland one can still enjoy the good highlights. It's wonderful to see these stars in their prime -- Bing, Mitzi, Donald, Jeanmaire, and Phil Harris as the father figure.

    The dance routines of "You're the Top" and "It's Delightful" are great musical show stoppers. Basically Bing and Donald play the part of two showmen who unknowingly sign two different dancers, Mitzi and Jean, to be the star in their musical. Obviously they have some sorting out to do on this matter while all are sailing back to America.

    In my later years I'm learning to appreciate Bing's movies more than when I was young. All in all this is pleasant entertainment that leaves you with a good feeling.
  • As far as the golden age of musicals were concerned, the back trackers were always Paramount and Warner Brothers, who never quite achieved the magic that MGM created, despite their most valiant efforts to produce MGM-esquire musicals.

    One such film that could have been a great deal more magical had MGM been at the helm is Anything Goes.

    Bing Crosby stars in his second big screen version of the Cole Porter Broadway smash, although this plot has been modified slightly and brought up to date 50' style..it therefore tells a completely different story to Crosby's first version twenty years earlier.

    Donald O'Conner, who in my humble opinion was one of the most underrated performers Hollywood ever had, provides the dances and comic turns whilst he romances the beautiful Mitzi Gaynor.

    O'Conner was a natural at almost everything he did. He was a superb comic, a gifted actor and a dancer of extraordinary talent on par I think with Fred Astaire and his 'Singing in the Rain' co-star Gene Kelly, yet his contributions to film, have on the whole been overlooked. He was therefore demoted to 'B' movie comedies like the god awful "Francis" films.

    Bing sings his way through Porters songs in his usual effortless way, as he tries to discard, appease and finally woo a French Ballet star played by ZiZi Jeanmaire, billed here simply as 'Jeanmaire' Another pleasant appearance is made by 40's band leader Phil 'Balloo in Jungle Book' Harris, and he is a welcome addition although regrettably he is not given an opportunity to perform some of those comic southern songs like 'Woodman, Spare that Tree' or 'The Dark Town Poker Club' with which he made his name.

    The plot is scratchy too with Crosby and O'Conner forming an effortless partnership whilst collaborating on a new Broadway show.

    The clash of styles and the obvious comparisons of youth and novice against age and experience are hinted at in the beginning, leaving you wanting more of the same, but alas these differences trail off into nothing and they are not exploited to full effect. It would have made this film a lot more enjoyable to see the two male leads spar more together and therefore classic entertainment is unfortunately denied us.

    One of the previous reviewers said that there was something missing from this film that they couldn't put their finger on....I think that this was it.

    But despite the bad script and leaky predictable plot, the performances are great and the songs as ever are timeless. Porter, Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen were three of the best song-smiths in the business.

    Watch this one when you can, but don't cancel anything important in order to do so.
  • glm398 October 2005
    It has all the trappings of an entertaining musical, but the chemistry is not there. A few of the musical numbers are worth seeing, but many are mediocre at best. The most peculiar thing about the movie is its substitution of boring, pedestrian new songs to take the place of Cole Porter's songs. Although Jimmy Van Heusen certainly composed some good songs in his day, the present "Ya Gotta Give the People Hoke," "Bounce Right Back," and "A Second-Hand Turban" are embarrassing. The producers couldn't find 3 more Cole Porter songs to use instead? Adding to the embarrassment is the bowdlerization of the song "Anything Goes," in which Mitzi Gayner is not even permitted to refer to authors' "four-letter words." Instead, we are nonsensically told that authors nowadays use only "three-letter words." Of course, such censoring of the lyrics of this song negate the entire premise of the song, which is that anything is permitted nowadays.

    Donald O'Connor has a very nice dance routine with children and a lot of bouncing balls in "Bounce Right Back," which is the most original number in the film. The comedy duos by O'Connor and Crosby fall flat, as does the vocal by Jeanmaire. Indeed, after hearing the mangled arrangement of her trying to sing "I Get a Kick Out of You," I actually stopped the movie and played a Frank Sinatra version in order to get the bad taste out of my ears. Mitzi Gayner is lively and attractive and does a good job in belting out her songs. Crosby is always good, although the arrangement and photography of his performance of "All Through the Night" were so anemic that one might doze through it, without danger of anything happening to wake one up.

    The plot is actually a very good basis for a musical comedy (a mix-up in which both Gayner and Jeanmaire are hired for the same part), but the writing is corny and stilted, there is little real humor, and the comic potential of the situation is simply not realized. Although the drama is of course not the most important part of a musical comedy, if it does not help to motivate the songs and does not create any suspense about what will happen, then the audience is just tapping its feet waiting for the next musical number.

    I think that if someone were to edit the film to include five or so of the best musical numbers only (no plot, no weaker songs), one might have 20 minutes of decent entertainment. But to watch the film for 106 minutes to get those 20 minutes of entertainment is not that pleasant.
  • I really enjoyed this movie. Typically, I hate remakes, but this one isn't so bad. Was Bing Crosby a better actor in the 30's and 40's? You bet your boots. Then again, I've never liked him in anything he's done, ever, and at least in 'Anything Goes' he doesn't try to act, and sticks to the crooning instead.

    Also, I love Donald O'Connor, and he is at the top of his form here. I didn't know who Mitzi Gaynor was, but now that I do, I really like her. She's a good dancer with a pleasant screen persona. Jeanmaire is okay. I liked her wardrobe.

    The art direction is good (I especially like the number where Donald and Bing sing the same song from two adjoining rooms) and the film hasn't been 'overproduced', as was the somewhat comparable 'White Christmas'. I hate it when musicals take themselves too seriously! The story is silly, but worrying about that sh*t is missing the point entirely.

    Don't believe these over-critical snobs. They're missing out, and they don't even know it.
  • It's easy to understand why they took their time getting around to releasing a DVD of this one. As can be seen from other comments, the 1956 film version of "Anything Goes" will generally disappoint those who love the stage version. Other than some of Cole Porter's songs and a setting on a cruise ship there is no similarity between the two productions. The very entertaining (and still frequently performed) Cole Porter musical has been transformed into a pretty lame film, and three songs by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn have been inexplicably added to the production. Even worse is the loss of most of P.G. Wodehouse's clever script, which was rewritten by a Hollywood hack into this dumbed-down version.

    This doesn't make "Anything Goes" unwatchable. The choreography is mostly first rate. Most of the musical numbers are entertaining and several are excellent. The performances are typical of each cast members career work (both good and bad) and the film has some interesting Hollywood cinema history aspects.

    You know almost immediately that this will not be a rousing bit of entertainment, instead of a high-energy opening number the film begins with a back stage party scene that is about as lively as an abandoned railroad track.

    Bing Crosby and Donald O'Connor play Broadway co-stars who go to Europe to recruit a leading lady for their upcoming show. Each brings their discovery aboard a cruise ship for a transatlantic voyage. Mitzi Gaynor and Zizi Jeanmaire play the girls. Since there is only one role the remainder of the film is about determining which one will be featured and keeping it secret that both were already promised the role. There are two romances, with the two actors falling for each other's girl during the ocean crossing. Suspense and comedy are in short supply.

    Gaynor manages a pretty good performance; she gets one very hot feature number (the title song-although Porter's original four letter word lyrics are toned down) and duets with O'Connor in the film's best number "It's De-lovely". O'Connor is also featured in a very original dance routine with children and a lot of bouncing balls. In this he dances to Van Heusen's "Bounce Right Back," not much of a song but a good excuse for using him in another unique routine.

    Jeanmaire was a French ballet star ("Carmen") who briefly tried her stuff in mid-50's Hollywood. She was a Leslie Caron clone complete with the same hairstyle. Her two solo numbers "I Get a Kick Out of You" and "Dream Ballet" are surprisingly good, at least the dancing portions.

    Bing Crosby of course is well known to old movie buffs but others will be somewhat puzzled by his popularity. Nothing he does in "Anything Goes" sheds light on this question. He was a "popular" extremely bland singer and a horrible actor with some comic ability. In "Anything Goes" even his comedy stuff is pretty awful. Paired with Bing, O'Connor has about the same chance for success as someone trying to sneak through a balloon shop wearing a porcupine overcoat.

    The Technicolor and VistaVision completely overpower the cheap production design as well as Sidney Sheldon's (the hack writer mentioned above) weak adaptation.

    Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
  • grant-512 October 2005
    I had never seen the movie before I went out and bought it the other day. It was an impulse thing I know. But there are very few musicals that I've seen and not liked. Also I have yet to see a movie with Donald O'Connor in it and not love it and him even more than I already do. It was my first Bing Crosby film and though I thought he was okay in it I have to say the only reason for me has to be Donald. I love his dance and song solo number of bounce right back. It makes me smile and laugh each time I see it. It's a cute movie and puts you in a good mood each time you watch it. SO I'd get it a 10. It's one of Donald's best. It's a must see.
  • The musical Anything Goes was a superb Cole Porter Broadway show when it opened in the 1930s. Since its 1934 debut at the Neil Simon Theatre (at the time known as the Alvin) on Broadway, the musical has been revived several times in the United States and Britain and has been filmed twice. The musical had a tryout in Boston, before opening on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on November 21, 1934. It ran for 420 performances, becoming the fourth longest-running musical of the 1930s, despite the impact of the Great Depression on Broadway patrons' disposable income.

    The movie was first filmed in 1936 with Bing Crosby and Ethel Merman, but it bared little resemblance to the Broadway show. Twenty years later, Bing was ending his contract with Paramount Studios after twenty four years with the studio. His last movie for Paramount would be an updated version of Anything Goes in 1956. Though this film again starred Bing Crosby (whose character was once more renamed), Donald O'Connor, and comedian Phil Harris in a cameo, the new film almost completely excised the rest of the characters in favor of a totally new plot. The film features almost no similarities to the play or 1936 film, apart from some songs and the title.

    I have always enjoyed this 1956 swan song Bing made for Paramount. However, this movie could have been a great movie and not just a good or fair movie. I think my biggest problem with the film was Bing's co-star Zizi Jeanmaire. She was a popular French ballet dancer, who was married to the choreographer of the movie Roland Petit. Whether she got him his job on the film or visa versa, I don't know. However, she was totally wrong as Bing's love interest. Bing and Jeanmaire just did not have the chemistry. She was a fine dancer, but the Cole Porter song "I Get A Kick Out Of You" was wasted on her limited vocal ability.

    Speaking of the Cole Porter score, Paramount did a grave injustice by tearing apart the great Broadway score. The primary musical numbers ("Anything Goes", "You're the Top", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "It's De-Lovely" and "Blow, Gabriel, Blow") with updated arrangements appear in the film, while the lesser-known Porter songs were cut completely, and new songs, written by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn, were substituted. I enjoy the music of Cahn and Van Heusen, and they wrote some of the great songs in Frank Sinatra's songbook. However, when they wrote for Bing in the 1950s, the songs sounded tired and corny. The two songs they wrote for Bing were "Ya Gotta Give the People Hoke" and "A Second Hand Turbin". Bing deserved better songs than this.

    One more thing I would have done differently with the film is the use of Phil Harris. Harris not only was a great personality and singer but also a personal friend of Bing. In the movie he played the father of Mitzi Gaynor. He had a good role in the film, but Harris did not have much interaction with Bing. I think that was a wasted opportunity for a musical number between the two. It would have made for some great cinema.

    Again, while the 1956 version of Anything Goes is no Singin' In The Rain, it is not a bad movie. It was one of the first Bing movies I remember watching and despite what I would change, I think the pairing of Bing and Donald O'Connor was great. Also the finale of "Blow Gabriel Blow" is a fitting end to Bing's association with Paramount. He helped to save the studio from bankruptcy in 1932, and Bing was one of the studio's biggest stars for the next two decades...
  • Another reviewer stated that no one goes to musicals for the story. Think of The Band Wagon, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Meet Me In St. Louis, State Fair (1945), Singin' In The Rain. Did you really enjoy those musicals just for the songs and dances, and ignore the story, dialog, and situations? I doubt it.

    Some reviewers have criticized the screenplay by Sidney Sheldon. It's not great, but I think the direction is really the problem here. Robert Lewis was an accomplished theatre director and teacher (The Actors Studio), as well as an occasional Hollywood actor, but this was his first and last feature film as director.

    There's some originality and wit (think of the two French sailors who appear periodically - a well-done bit), but the tone of the whole picture is off, the pace is off, the director doesn't know the tricks to brighten and even out the screenplay's banalities.

    Disagreeing with some other reviews here, I think Jeanmaire has a surprisingly good, strong singing voice for a non-singer She was a professional ballet dancer, not a singer. And she was a pretty good actress - watch carefully and you will see her emotional responses are real. You can even see her breath come fast when she tells Crosby how much she loves him.

    I disagree with the reviewer who criticized the number Donald O'Connor did with the kids. Please look at this number carefully and see exactly what an amazing dancer and athlete this guy is. Notice how he dances with that small ball, and the larger ones. How he's able to make the ball bounce exactly right, off of opposing walls, to match his turns, etc. It's amazing.

    The song itself - like all the interpolated Cahn-Van Heusen songs - is so completely different in style from the old Cole Porter tunes, it just sounds out of place. Like Neil Simon had written some new scenes for a Kaufman-Hart play. It isn't that Cahn and Van Heusen aren't great, they just aren't the same style of songwriter as Porter, so their songs up against his are jarring.

    Mitzi Gaynor, as usual, gives her all. I saw her stage show, once. Though she's very good on film, she was phenomenal onstage.

    I could watch Bing in anything.
  • scootmandutoo5 January 2006
    When the film "DeLovely" recently rekindled my love for Cole Porter's music, I encountered this DVD on sale and thought it would make a great addition to my collection. It didn't. For the most part, what a clunker.

    I realize that as great as the music is, "Anything Goes" is a bit dated as a musical, but this story, which has nothing to do with the original, is just dreadful.

    In addition to the uninspired plot, the songs that were added by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen are remarkably banal. Even more so, when one compares them to the Porter originals left in. It's sad that anybody watching might actually think they were Porter's own.

    Additionally, because of the prudishness of Hollywood, Porter's originals get censored too. An example of the lunacy is when, in a lyric, "4-letter word" becomes "3 letter-word." How trite can Hollywood be? 2 Porter songs in the beginning that get transformed into '50s-style jazz-dance numbers for the female leads lose all their charm from the butchery. The song "Anything Goes" has never been given a worse rendition.

    Bing Crosby, in his last Paramount picture, sleepwalks through it. Jeanmaire is not much better (especially her acting). It is no surprise that her career gravitated back to France after this.

    Mitzi Gaynor was her usual perky self, but the film gets saved somewhat by Donald O'Connor's presence and energy. The one Porter song that seems to have kept its charm is a nice Gaynor/O'Connor duet on "De-Lovely."

    While Porter purists will retch over this film (which was probably what his reaction was after seeing it, especially the added songs), it does offer up a period glimpse of Hollywood choreography from the mid-50s, along with the previously mentioned duet.

    Otherwise, it's the bottom, not the top.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Yes, this was Bing's last film for Paramount, after nearly 25 years. It was also Don's last Hollywood musical, after about 15 years of musicals for several studios. Mitzi would have only 2 more Hollywood musicals: the much inferior Cole Porter effort in "Les Girls", and her most famous role, in "South Pacific". I prefer her 2 roles with Don O'Connor as her main male costar: this one and the prior "There's No Business Like Show Business". Their film relationship differed in the two: lovers in this one, and brother and sister in the other. In any case, they got to do a number or so together, as well as their own number(s). Although Don spent most of his Hollywood years signed with Universal, not exactly known for its high profile musicals, he was included in a Crosby film back in '38, when he was only 13. He was slated to be reunited with Bing in the '54 "White Christmas", but had to bow out due to a last minute illness, being replaced by Danny Kaye. Thus, his inclusion as Bing's male costar in the present production might be seen as a consolation prize for missing out on "White Christmas". Released on the 20th anniversary of the first "Anything Goes" film, starring Bing and Ethel Merman.

    The film does start out slow, with backstage talk. But, pretty soon, Bing and Don are on stage to do a vaudeville-like song and dance routine to the vaudevillian-styled "Ya Gotta Give the People Hoke(m)". The last part of this routine involves Bing and Don alternatively appearing on stage in a variety of bizarre get ups, for just a few seconds each. Again, this is a vaudeville-like act. It probably was meant mainly for the short attention spans of most children. For adults, it would have been much better if the possibilities of each costume had been exploited more and if they had a partner to interact with. I had the same criticism for a rather similar performance by Don in the previous "I Love Melvin".

    After this performance, Bing and Don talk about the need to find a leading lady for their next big stage production. They go to Paris(why?), go their own ways, and each prematurely signs a candidate they are sure is the right one: an American, Mitzi, and a French dancer, Zizi Jeanmaire. Bing was impressed by Mitzi's performance as a singer and dancer in the elaborate production "Anything Goes". Don and Bing then watch Zizi in another long production to "I Get a Kick Out of You". Bing questions whether Zizi's English is good enough for the NYC stage. He tells Don he has to get rid of Zizi before they sail to NYC. But Don can't face Zizi, thus smuggles her aboard, to be discovered later. In their respective state rooms, Bing and Mitzi sing and dance to "You're the Top", while Don and Zizi do the same in their state room, as we go back and forth between the two. Clever.

    Inevitably, Bing finds out about Zizi. It turns out that Zizi is attracted to Bing, while Don and Mitzi discover that they have a liking for each other. This is further developed when they are alone on the ship deck at night, and do their 'mating dance' to "It's Delovely": one of the highlights of the film. Meanwhile, Bing tries to tell Zizi that they can't use her in the show, but she keeps interrupting, and they wander onto the deck at night. She kisses him. Bing sings "All Through the Night", first in English, then in French. Next, Zigi stars in a series of dances, termed "The Dream Ballet", presumably a daydream. She does a ballet alone, then an entwining dance with 2 sailors, then with a variety of dancers, a jive-like dance. Not bad.. Back to Bing and Zizi on the deck, briefly.

    In the morning, a crisis phase begins, as Don talks to Zizi, assuming that Bing told her she has no place in their show. She is mad and says she won't let them out of her contract. Meanwhile, Mizi finds out that her father's(Phil Harris) big IRS problem has reemerged, as a trailing agent is on board.. She tells Don she can't appear in a show in NYC because of her father's problem(not clear why this is so!)

    To provide a break from this crisis, Don slips on a ball while walking on deck and traces the ball to a children's playroom. After making friends with the kids, he starts his "You Can Bounce Right Back" dance performance, which I rate as one of the best in his career, with the message that if you fall down, get up and try again. Especially, a great performance for the kids in the audience.

    Back to reality, Bing tells Don he is afraid they may lose both their leading ladies. He has an idea how they can both be leading ladies, but first they have to make up to both. With the captain's permission, he arranges for Mitzi and Zizi to be at adjoining dinning tables, alone. Then, he and Don do their "The Second Hand Turban and Crystal Ball" act between the two women. Bing then tells the two women that they have scraped their play idea and will do a new show, based on the foursome's history. Mitzi's father tells the IRS agent about this and he backs off(I don't understand why?) Next, the finale show to "Blow, Gabriel, Blow".

    Now, does that sound all that bad? The last part, after Don's solo performance, is admittedly weak. But, most of the rest I think is quite good. Catch it on You Tube.
  • Sorry, we are watching this one on TCM Thanksgiving evening. Both of us have played in the pit orchestra of the stage play. Sadly, this is so far removed from the original that it should definitely NOT be called "Anything Goes." This "new" story with some of the original songs plugged in with other non-Porter songs added, is a pretty lame rehash of the worn out "Let's put on a show" theme. There are some entertaining moments but don't expect the Broadway Show. We say "Arf-Arf." Especially the crystal ball routine is more like the Three (two) Stooges! There are some of the original Cole Porter songs from the musical but they are taken out of their original context. The vocal performances also don't have the high level of Broadway intensity one expects from better film adaptations. Some of the dance routines are fun, but, again, this is NOT Cole Porter's "Anything Goes!"
  • ptb-86 August 2004
    I will let you all in on a little secret. People do not go to musicals for the story. They go for the athletic dancing, the fashions and the musical style of the film. Repeat after me: They do not go for the story. As incredible as it may be, the story is a just a vehicle to carry the dancers and musical talent along. It is NOT the main reason. If MGM or Paramount or whoever place major musical stars in a picture, it means it wants to see them PERFORM. As the audience does. The story, well it is - just a what did I say....... A vehicle to show off their talent on celluloid. This one, set on a ocean liner is as snazzy as 50s pix get is only dulled by the awesomely boring mummy's boy of all time BING CROSBY. However it is livened by effervescent clever Donald O'Connor and Mitzi Gaynor.. and Edith Head clothes. The Porter songs are great and the pic/look is sent up later by Kelly and Maclaine in 1964 at Fox in WHAT A WAY TO GO. Gorgeous fun. And not so much about the story.
  • One of the most polarizing Best Picture winners I can think of is "An American in Paris". Some adore it, some hate the very long modern dance portion that seems to go on and on. How much you like modern dance will also play a big part in whether or not you love or dislike "Anything Goes". The dancing doesn't go on as long...but there is a ton of it and it's very much unlike a musical of the 1930s or 40s.

    Speaking of 1930s, I should point out that this 1956 film has very little to do with either the 1936 film or the Broadway musical...apart from the music. The plots are completely different...though Bing Crosby stars in both films.

    When the film begins, you see that Bill (Bing Crosby) is a bit singing star. When he's introduced to newcomer Ted (Donald O'Connor), Bill is very taken with him and wants to partner up with him for a show. After agreeing on this, Bill is supposed to find a leading lady for their show and he finds Patsy (Mitzi Gaynor) and signs her. At about the same time, Ted discovers Gaby (Zizi Jeanmaire) and signs her as well. Ted knows this is Bill's job but KNOWS Bill will love Gaby!! Now, with two leading ladies, the partnership is in for some rocky times!

    This film is well made and the dance numbers are fine. But it's all a matter of taste...and I prefer older fashioned musicals without the modern dance numbers. For me, I'd give it a 6 but perhaps your reaction will be quite different.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is an all-new rendition of the 1934 play and 1936 Cole Porter musical play attributed to P.G. Wodehouse. It is a substantial rewrite of that product, which itself completely revamped the Wodehouse script. But the best of Cole Porter's songs from the play are intact.

    This isn't a matter of comparing versions of "Anything Goes," since each one must stand on its own for the musical performers and the specific scripts. The screenplay for this one is just so-so. By the 1950s, the formula for musicals was changing into plays with music written into them. This is in the order of the old form - mostly musical revues pieced together with a thin plot.

    And, on the basis of the performances and numbers, this is an excellent package of entertainment. Bing Crosby leads with the singing, and the two female leads and Donald O'Connor give out with the moves in dance numbers. This film has some terrific choreography for all three dancers. It's a good look at Zizi Jeanmaire, a great French ballet star and dancer. She really puts zing into a couple of her routines with ballet and jazz. Her husband of many years, and famous dancer and choreographer, Roland Petit, designed the dance numbers. Petit and Jeanmaire founded Les Ballet Champs Elysees in Paris.

    Mitzi Gaynor and Donald O'Connor are superb in their dances. Bing Crosby and O'Connor have some nice song and dance numbers. The better-known songs of the film include "Anything Goes," "I Get a Kick Out of You," "You're the Top," and "It's De-Lovely." Crosby is Bill Benson, O'Connor is Ted Adams, Gaynor is Patsy Blair and Jeanmaire is Gaby Duval. Phil Harris plays Patsy's father, Steve Blair.

    The comedy romance developments are hardly worth noting - not very well scripted or developed. The best of the comedy is in a scene with dialog between Steve Blair and a U.S. Treasury agent.

    Alex Todd, "I've handled a lot of income tax cases in my time, but yours is driving me crazy."

    Alex Todd, "We know you're a gambler." Steve Blair, "Ah, mathematical consultant." Alex Todd, "Yeah." Alex Todd, "We've followed your career as a mathematical consultant all the way from Saratoga to Santa Anita." Steve Blair, "Ah, Santa Anita."

    Alex Todd, "You had five straight bad years." Steve Blair, "Well, that's not my fault. Arrest the horses."

    Alex Todd, "On the sixth year you reported no income." Steve Blair, "That's right." Alex Todd, "The government can prove that you won over $100,000 that year." Steve Blair, "Sure, but that wasn't mine. I had to take care of the guys that took care of me during the five bad years." Alex Todd, "You had the money, why didn't you pay your taxes?" Steve Blair, "What do you think I am, a crook?" Alex Todd, "Now, look..." Steve Blair, "What have we got, a government full of welchers? It's not ethical to let your friends down. They lent me their money, so I paid them back. And I would've paid you too, but I had nothing left. So, I figured, why declare it and... and... and put you to a lot of trouble?" Alex Todd, "What do you suppose would happen if everybody felt the way you do?" Steve Blair, "The country'd be loaded with racetracks."
  • After years of knowing this was on YouTube, I finally watched this there. Bing Crosby had previously starred in the 1936 filmed version of Cole Porter's Anything Goes which kept most of the book. This version changes all that, only the best known songs are intact, the rest being new ones written by someone else. Donald O'Connor-who had previously appeared with Bing as a kid in Sing You Sinners-is his co-star and does quite well with him as do leading ladies Mitzi Gaynor and Jeanmaire. The last one is someone I didn't know about before and she's good with her talents being displayed here as is Ms. Gaynor. By the way, Ms. Gaynor and Mr. O'Connor had appeared previously as siblings in There's No Business Like Show Business so it must have partially shocked audiences at the time to see them as lovers here! In summary, I really enjoyed this other filmed version of Anything Goes so that's a high recommendation!
  • a_baron18 June 2016
    Musicals are not generally renowned for sophisticated plots, but this one isn't bad. Old hand Bing Crosby and the new television star played by Gene Kelly contemporary Donald O'Connor are putting on a new show. The only problem is they have each signed a leading lady, so who is going to deliver the bad news and to whom?

    That's about all you need to know, aside from that there are some decent wisecracks, one or two passable comedy scenes, the music largely from Cole Porter, and not least some fantastic dancing particularly by O'Connor, but also by Mitzi Gaynor and French ballet star Zizi Jeanmaire. Although Crosby has long departed this Earth and O'Connor has been dead for over a decade, the two ladies are still with us; Gaynor is 84, and Mademoiselle Jeanmaire a sprightly 92. They would probably agree that "they don't make them like that anymore".
  • ANYTHING GOES was barely a few minutes in progress before I knew it was going to be a lemon. For starters, there's Bing Crosby and Donald O'Connor meeting for the first time and throwing together an intricate but unfunny skit that it would have taken weeks to rehearse, full of props and bits of business that only full rehearsals could accomplish. We're supposed to believe it's a spontaneous spur of the moment romp. So much for the artificial nature of the tale.

    Then some familiar Cole Porter songs get a very limp treatment as the wisp of a plot progresses, a tiresome thing about two actresses inadvertently signed up for the same show by an inept Crosby and O'Connor looking for a single actress to play the lead in their show.

    The sad thing is that the film looks great as far as the VistaVision Technicolor photography, sets and costumes go, but the script by Sidney Sheldon offers one flat line after another in an attempt to be light and breezy and there's nothing the actors can do to liven the proceedings. Only Mitzi Gaynor and Donald O'Connor have enough professional presence to sparkle occasionally, but the end result is that none of the dance routines are especially impressive. Jeanmaire is no help, a gamin with a French accent who is supposed to fall madly in love with Crosby despite their age difference.

    With uninspired choreography and a trite script, there's no doubt I won't be revisiting this bland musical anytime soon. The only Cole Porter song that gets at least half-decent treatment is "It's Delightful, It's DeLovely." And the new songs (three of them) do nothing to add any luster, even one designed as a specialty number for Donald O'Connor.

    To add insult to injury, poor Phil Harris has a thankless role as Gaynor's father in trouble with the IRS, a situation handled without a shred of wit.
  • As she says in this film, ' Thank God, I am French '. Not only was she the best of France, she was also ( and most importantly ) the best of Paris. As Louis Aragon said, ' she was Paris '. She danced with the great dancers of the time, and before Bardot she loosened up France and was the first to crop her hair short and brought sexual diversity to a country that welcomed her with open arms. Her black outfit was a sign of androgyny and many followed her example. Now for the film. She has competition with the great Mitzi Gaynor, but while watching the film with Gaynor you think she is putting strong alcohol into a waiting American apple pie!!! This is an underrated musical, and like all great musicals it has a simple narrative, lots of good dialogue and is truly sophisticated. Normally I am allergic to Bing Crosby but with both Gaynor and Jeanmaire, plus Donald O'Connor at his best he in his element. I have little to say that is critical. It is the only film apart from the not so good ' Hans Christian Anderson ' that Zizi Jeanmaire made in America. Paris needed her and Paris was essentially her world. I, along with many others, would have liked her to go on forever, and the French along with many others around the world will miss her. See the film. Love it. If not go back to monster movies like ' Oklahoma ' and ' The Sound of Music '.
  • Featuring an ocean of songs by Cole Porter, Jimmy Van Jeusen, and Sammy Cahn, this is another musical about the entertainment business, with Bing Crosby and Donald O'Connor looking for a leading lady and getting wires crossed over Mitzi Gaynor and Zizi Jeanmaire, who dances a dream ballet to "Let's Do It" and "All Through the Night" and performs an over-the-top French-accented "I Get a Kick Out of You." Gaynor and O'Connor sing "It's De-lovely," and the quartet of stars sings "You're the Top." The only problem with the plot and the musical numbers is that they have little to nothing to do with one another, and then there's the matter of Gaynor's singing and Crosby's dancing, and then there's the believability of the romantic entanglements . . . so then, not everything goes. ---from Musicals on the Silver Screen, American Library Association, 2013
  • "Anything Goes" (from 1956) is a Technicolor "singin'-dancin'-romancin'" comedy that, as expected, only manages to come to life during its elaborately staged musical numbers.

    Featuring songs by composer, Cole Porter, and lyricist, Sammy Cahn - "Anything Goes" does have the added advantage of starring the likes of Bing Crosby, Donald O'Connor, and Mitzi Gaynor.

    For viewers who enjoy watching pure escapist fluff from the heyday of the Hollywood musical, then, yes, "Anything Goes" is certain to keep you fully entertained from start to finish.
  • This is a fair and nice musical comedy. Bing in last role for Paramount. It's a goodbye to him. Mitzi Gaynor is fresh and sizzeling in her performances. Donald O'Connor is humourous and his acrobatic dancing is spectacular. Zizi Jeanmaire is a real miscast. Her songs and her speaking is inaudible. Her french accent is heavy and misses charm. She really stops the rythm of the movie every time she appears on the screen. The ballets of her husband, Roland Petit are too intellectual for this musical.
  • funkyfry17 February 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    There are some problems with this movie..... no, it's not the cast, although some of the talented performers (Bing Crosby in particular) seem bored or listless. Donald O'Connor and Mitzi Gaynor have no chemistry, Zizi Jeanmarie is a bit out of place but has plenty of talent to spare.

    The film doesn't follow the plot to the original play at all. Some of the songs are replaced with new songs by an old composer (Jimmy Van Heusen). But that's not the problem either. The original play was pretty dull, basically a rip-off of Anita Loos' play "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." And, at least, most of the action here takes place on a transcontinental cruise, so I don't think removing a corny story about missing jewels really hurt anything.

    Director Robert Lewis may be the problem. There's gotta be a reason he never did a real film again. He does not know how to use the widescreen (whenever somebody moves on camera, he moves the camera with them, and he uses too many medium shots), and his direction is generally uninspired. The plot and the dialog can barely hold the film together between the songs. Lewis isn't helping things along. There's no "wow" factor here. Everybody is fine, the songs are pleasant, but there's absolutely no real passion on display.
  • I don't know where to start. Of all three filmed versions of Cole Porter's stage show, this version is atrocious. It shouldn't have had the right to be titled Anything Goes. Viewers beware: there is nothing about this movie that's similar to the show, besides the use of a few songs. It's a completely different plot, and although the main characters travel on a boat, there's literally absolutely no similarities to the original.

    In this version, Bing Crosby and Donald O'Connor play actors in search of a leading lady for their newest Broadway musical. There are more than a few jokes about Bing Crosby's age, which are only cute because eighteen years earlier, they were in Sing You Sinners when Donald was a child actor. Bing signs Mitzi Gaynor to the show, and Donald signs Jeanmarie, but while each one tries to break up the other's contract, they fall in love with the opposition team's girl. Very typical, but given the right script, it could have been turned into something cute. Still, the unfulfilled potential doesn't give the movie any reason to borrow Cole Porter's songs and stick them randomly into the story. Since this is mostly a backstage musical, the songs don't relate to the plot and are just performed onstage or in rehearsal.

    As much as I can't stand Mitzi Gaynor, I ended up preferring her screen time to Jeanmarie, who annoyed me beyond frustration. I'll never understand Mitzi's popularity, or why she wasn't dubbed when given songs. Listening to her sing is as painful as listening to June Allyson warble. She and Jeanmarie might be talented dancers, but thanks to Roland Petit, Nick Castle, and Ernie Flatt's choreography, anyone who watches this movie will never know. I have a great love of dance, and of the musical genre, but I ended up fast-forwarding through the wacky, jazz versions of "Anything Goes", "Blow Gabriel Blow", and "I Get a Kick Out of You". Who thought it was a good idea to put all four leads in tuxedos and snap their fingers while syncopating, "Blow, Gabe, blow!" Who thought it was a good idea to slow the tempo of every single song so even Bing Crosby had a hard time singing them? Who thought it was a good idea to virtually copy Donald O'Connor's balloon dance from Call Me Madam and put him in a classroom of children singing, "You can bounce right back" while they throw balls at him?

    Apparently, I did know where to start; the real trouble is knowing when to stop. Please, stay away from this version. I'd hate to get started again.
  • This is one of those movies where you think Hollywood done Cole Porter wrong. The Cole Porter tunes are excellent. That vamp Bing Crosby and cast do at the end of the movie with "Blow Gabriel Blow" is excellent; that Bing Crosby lent his talent to such a vamp speaks to his spirit as well as his talent. Changing 'Four letter words' for 'three letter words' is funny in a Hollywood sort of funny.

    But the deterioration of the movie comes with Donald O'Connor throwing a ball around with a bunch of kids--I never understand this fascination for kids--it was silly, stupid, inane, vacuous. And alas there were three other numbers equally horrendous. That nonsense with a turban didn't work either.

    But if you like Cole Porter, their interpretations of his music was about as good as it gets. Their vocalizations enhance Cole Porter without taking away from Cole Poter. If Hollywood has a few spare millions hanging around, they might consider a remake of ANYTHING GOES. Though in a million years, I couldn't tell who the cast should be.
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