What A Way To Go!

  • 1964
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy

Former press agent Jacobs always felt that "bigger was better," so for this, his first venture into film producing, he decided to do a huge comedy, filled with stars, huge sets, and colorful costumes. It all went to prove that bigger isn't better. As the film opens, MacLaine is sharing her tale of woe with psychiatrist Cummings. Seems she's worth $200 million,...read more

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Former press agent Jacobs always felt that "bigger was better," so for this, his first venture into film producing, he decided to do a huge comedy, filled with stars, huge sets, and colorful costumes. It all went to prove that bigger isn't better. As the film opens, MacLaine is sharing

her tale of woe with psychiatrist Cummings. Seems she's worth $200 million, but she wants to give the money to the IRS because she believes it's cursed. In flashback, the story unfolds, beginning with her refusal to marry the very wealthy Martin. Instead, she weds Van Dyke, a poor shopkeeper.

Upset because Martin has told her she's made a big mistake, Van Dyke works tirelessly to amass a fortune and dies from the exertion. MacLaine, now a wealthy widow, meets and marries a series of hapless men--including bohemian painter Newman, high-powered businessman Mitchum, and smalltime

entertainer Kelly--each of whom is done in by the effort of keeping her happy.

The size of this production was awesome. Costumer Edith Head had half a million dollars to play with for the more than 70 MacLaine costumes, and jeweler Harry Winston lent a bauble collection of almost $4 million to the production. A musical-extravaganza number featured Kelly and MacLaine in a

satire of every nautical musical ever made. Comden, Green, and Jule Styne collaborated on "Musical Extravaganza" and "I Think You and I Should Get Acquainted." Thompson employed several shooting styles. The Van Dyke episode is reminiscent of a silent movie. The Newman section is shot as a French

film, right down to the English subtitles. The Mitchum section is a Doris Day-Rock Hudson Universal look-alike. And the Gene Kelly piece resembles a Busby Berkeley production. On paper this picture seemed to have everything going for it. Unfortunately, movies are made on film, and it sank. The

fact was that it simply wasn't very funny. Some interesting cameos include veteran players like Dumont (in her last film after having served so long as the Marx Brothers' foil), former boxer Lou Nova, Tom Conway (in his last role; he is the former "Falcon" of the movies and brother of George

Sanders), and comics Lenny Kent, Sid Gould, and Wally Vernon. A real flopperoo--which proves that excess for its own sake means little or nothing to movie audiences.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Former press agent Jacobs always felt that "bigger was better," so for this, his first venture into film producing, he decided to do a huge comedy, filled with stars, huge sets, and colorful costumes. It all went to prove that bigger isn't better. As the f… (more)

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