Lamar Trotti’s original, from which Phoebe and Henry Ephron fashioned the screenplay, is palpably a script primed to point up the ‘heart’ of showfolk.
Ethel Merman and Dan Dailey are capital as the vaudeville Donahues who bring out first one, then two, then three of their offspring for that extra bow, with a running gag, as the vaude annunciator cards change to the three Donahues, the four and finally the five Donahues.
Robert Alton rates a big bend along with producer Sol C. Siegel and director Walter Lang on those lavish musical routines. From Irving Berlin’s viewpoint, they’re all a song-plugger’s delight.
Ethel Merman is boffo. She’s a belter of a school of song stylists not to be found on every stage or before every mike. Show Business gets the works in every respect. The orchestral-vocal treatments of the Berlin standards are so richly endowed as to give them constantly fresh values.
1954: Nominations: Best Motion Picture Story, Color Costume Design, Scoring of a Musical Picture