Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Betty Grable
THREE FOR THE SHOW (1955). Director: H. C. Potter.

Stage star Julie Lowndes (Betty Grable) is happily married to choreographer Vernon (Gower Champion), when her first husband, Marty (Jack Lemmon), supposedly killed in action, shows up out of the blue. Speaking to a befuddled Colonel Wharton (Paul Harvey) of the Air Force, she comes to the conclusion that she is legally married to both men, leading to a slightly risque menage a trois situation with the two husbands sharing a bedroom and her sharing them (chastely one assumes). Made in another time period, this might have had some amusing or eyebrow-raising sequences, but this is a fifties musical, and an awfully dull one at that. The performers, including Gower's real-life wife Marge Champion, are adept enough, and the Gowers' dance numbers are elegant and swell, but the other production numbers featuring Grable (and in one case, a male harem) are campy and awful. Grable [Give Me a Sailor] was supposedly 39 but looks older. Gower was 34 but also looks older; Marge was 36 but looks younger. Jack Lemmon [The China Syndrome] was the youngest at only 30 and looks it. Myron McCormick [Jigsaw] plays a producer who seems to have special feelings for Marge. The film was based on an old comedy, Too Many Husbands, that probably should not have been resuscitated. There's only one laugh in the whole movie. This was Jack Lemmon's third film; luckily he survived this stinker to go on to a brilliant career in both drama and comedy. Grable only did one more movie.

Verdict: It seems as if it will never end. *1/2.


angelman66 said...

LOL, your rating made me laugh - because, Bill, with all that schmaltz and Technicolor, who would want it to EVER be over? (Just kidding). I have never seen this one, and was surprised to see that Jack Lemmon is in it. They really used him in a lot of films right when they hired him from Mister Roberts on Broadway...
Grable was by all accounts extremely generous when Marilyn Monroe pretty much stole her crown as queen of the Fox lot...they were supposed to do a couple more movies after How To Marry a Millionaire but then Marilyn went on suspension and went to New York to study acting!
I still do want to see this, even if I have to fast-forward through it!

William said...

Ha, keep that finger on the fast forward button! Actually, it's amazing how people can see or appreciate things in some movies that leave others cold. I've no doubt some people might love the picture. I think Betty realized it was time for her to retire!