This musical reworking of TOO MANY HUSBANDS (1940), adapted from a play by W. Somerset Maugham, features Grable as a top singer and dancer who's been widowed by WW II. She marries her late husband's songwriting partner, Gower Champion, but the new marriage is thrown for a loop when Lemmon, her first husband, turns up very much alive and eager to see Grable....read more
This musical reworking of TOO MANY HUSBANDS (1940), adapted from a play by W. Somerset Maugham, features Grable as a top singer and dancer who's been widowed by WW II. She marries her late husband's songwriting partner, Gower Champion, but the new marriage is thrown for a loop when
Lemmon, her first husband, turns up very much alive and eager to see Grable. Grable is now in a pickle, because she loves both men. Unable to choose between them, she sets up house with both, while Marge Champion, her best friend (and Gower Champion's real-life spouse), patiently sits it out,
preparing to comfort the one who loses Grable's affections. The film wastes a potentially charming premise with rather clumsy, predictable storytelling; however, the plot's weaknesses are punched up by some lively dance numbers. Cole's choreography shows some originality and spice, and the
Champions--two of the best dancers ever to hit Broadway and the silver screen--perform wonderfully to George and Ira Gershwin's beautiful "Someone to Watch over Me." Grable works her magic with an all-male harem in a delightful dream sequence. Such moments aren't enough, though, and Lemmon (who
made his film-musical debut with this) seems lost in it all. He later remarked (as quoted in the book Lemmon by Don Widener): "I just wasn't that wild about the movie or the part . . . There's not much to say about it; it was a Hollywood musical." Others did have something to say about THREE FOR
THE SHOW. The Roman Catholic Legion of Decency found the film's treatment of polygamy too flippant and gave the film its C (for condemned) rating. After a few cuts were made, the Legion saw fit to rerate the film, raising it to a B (some parts morally objectionable). The songs include: "Which
One?" (Lester Lee, Ned Washington, sung by M. Champion), "Down Boy!" (Hoagy Carmichael, Harold Adamson, sung by Grable, Lemmon, G. Champion), "I've Been Kissed Before" (Bob Russell, Lee, sung by Grable), "I've Got a Crush on You" (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, sung by Lemmon, Grable), "How Come
You Like Me Like You Do?" (Gene Austin, Roy Bergere, sung by Grable), "Swan Lake" (excerpt from Tchaikovsky's ballet), "The Homecoming" (danced by Lemmon, G. Champion), and "Three for the Show" (danced by Grable, G. Champion, Lemmon).
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