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Show Business

Show Business(1944)

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teaser Show Business (1944)

George Murphy and Constance Moore carry the plot of this musical history of vaudeville, but the real attraction is Eddie Cantor and Joan Davis at their comic best. The four create a team headed to the top of the vaudeville circuit until a fifth wheel, Murphy's ex-girlfriend (Nancy Kelly) tries to split them apart. The film features such standards as "Alabamy Bound" and "Dinah," while also giving Cantor a chance to re-create his legendary performance of "Makin' Whoopee." Whenever the action drags, Davis gets to throw in a caustic one-liner to perk things up. This was the first of two films produced by Cantor, who based his first appearance, fighting hecklers at an amateur contest, on his own show business debut. For his second film he would ditch the romantic plot in favor of pure comedy, reuniting with Davis to play a team of retired vaudevillians dealing with gangsters in If You Knew Suzie (1948). For the second film, he would even use one of the comic highlights from Show Business, a parody of the sextette from Lucia di Lammermoor, as an example of his and Davis' work in vaudeville.

By Frank Miller

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