The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)

Approved   |    |  Biography, Comedy, Musical

The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) Poster

A poor, uneducated mountain girl leaves her cabin in search of respect, a wealthy husband, and a better life in this fictionalized biopic of Margaret "Molly" Brown, who survived the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic.

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  • Debbie Reynolds and Harve Presnell in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)
  • Debbie Reynolds in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)
  • Debbie Reynolds in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)
  • Debbie Reynolds in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)
  • Martita Hunt in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)
  • "Unsinkable Molly Brown" Harve Presnell & Debbie Reynolds 1964 MGM

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


Charles Walters


Helen Deutsch, Richard Morris (play)

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

15 August 2003 | NoArrow
Quite sinkable...
..."The Unsinkable Molly Brown" tells the long story of Molly Brown (Debbie Reynold) and her husband John J. (Harve Presnell) in the form of a musical. This review is being written by someone who can't stand most musicals, keep in mind, except for a few classics (i.e.: "Fiddler on the Roof", "Grease"). The songs in those two said movies were quite enjoyable, but the songs in "Molly Brown" are all about thirty seconds long and ten minutes apart, and consist of Reynolds singing along with Presnell. It's quite disturbing really, when the woman has a more masculine voice than the man.

The only remotely likable performance in this movie is by Reynolds, but that's only because all of the other characters either whine about being poor or whine about being bugged by the poor. Oh, Presnell's character whines about being rich too. You're left with one question after viewing this movie: "What the hell was everyone's problem?" Each character whines about something. Some songs are even devoted to whining. It gets very annoying.

And another thing: Molly Brown got her nickname because she survived the Titanic. Unfortunately, this movie spends all of one minute on this fact. The title would have more relevance if it were "The Rich Molly Brown" or "The Classy Molly Brown" or even "Whining Songs and Husky Voices".

In the end, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" disappoints in almost every way, 6/10.

Critic Reviews

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Did You Know?


The story of J.J. Brown accidentally burning his money after Molly hid it in the stove didn't really happen. It was made up by a Denver journalist after Molly Brown became a hero on the Titanic. When asked by her daughter why she didn't refute the false story, Molly Brown supposedly replied, "It's better that they write *something* about me than nothing." (Kathy Bates, as Molly Brown, repeats the story in James Cameron's Titanic (1997).) Molly Brown is also said to have reported the story with a slightly different ending. Molly did hide money in the potbelly stove in their Leadville cabin, and Johnny unknowingly started a fire on a particularly cold night. That's in keeping with the other version, but the end of the story, as told by Molly and reported in newspapers interviews during her lift, was a little different. Her addition was "Just think if it had been paper money!" The "money" was gold and silver coin which melted and melted to the stove. Miners didn't trust paper money in those years. The stove had to be broken apart and resmelted to separate the iron, gold and silver.


Shamus Tobin: Belly up, belly up to the bar, boys / Better loosen your belts...


When the Duchess is coming down the staircase at Molly's party, Molly elbows Gladys and tells her to curtsey. In the next shot, which is from farther back and takes in the guests and the staircase, the same exchange between Molly and Gladys is shown again.

Crazy Credits

introducing Harve Presnell

Alternate Versions

In the past, TCM has shown a version with Overture and Exit Music that ran 135 minutes. It also had a slightly different aspect ratio.


Performed by
Harve Presnell and ensemble
from musical "The Unsinkable Molly Brown"
Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Biography | Comedy | Musical | Romance | Western

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