Joe Pasternak

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Billy Rose's Jumbo Review


Good
As circus movies go, Billy Rose's Jumbo isn't a bad one. It is, however, exceptionally long for a circus movie, and even scene-stealing Jimmy Durante can't make the film a true classic.

The film is a classic behind-the-scenes affair, with the inner workings of the struggling circus. The management (including Doris Day and Durante) isn't doing so hot, and a big shot businessman wants to buy the outfit. Of course, they resist, and meantime a mysterious tightrope walker arrives on the scene. How will this all play out? Well, there will be love, tears, and lots of singing. And an elephant.

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Please Don't Eat The Daisies Review


Very Good
When you think of classic romantic comedy pairings, Doris Day and David Niven don't immediately spring to mind. But Niven shows an extremely soft and lighthearted side in this madcap romp, one of Day's best films from her little-seen later years in the business.

The story is really a bunch of vignettes -- as the source book was -- about a woman with four rambunctious boys and a theater critic husband, all of whom move from the city to the country in an attempt to better their lives. Hysteria ensues as Niven's critic tussles with old friends who are all playwrights, and a leading lady (Janis Paige) who alternately slaps him in the face and tries to woo a positive review out of him.

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Love Me Or Leave Me Review


Good
This overblown biopic of singer Ruth Etting (Doris Day) follows the Star Is Born template pretty faithfully, only with the spin of James Cagney as a gangster underwriter, not to mention historical underpinnings.

Cagney's work here is fairly rote, and Day's portrayal of Etting isn't exactly spot-on, but both are good enough for the job they've been tasked with. The problem comes from the abrasive repetition in the story, which has Cagney's Martin Snyder continuously beating and shooting people that stand in Etting's way, then nurturing her all lovey-dovey like. Two hours of this is just too much, even if it does feature a handful of Etting hits (including the title number).

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Joe Pasternak

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