Three for the Show (1955)

Genres - Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Drama, Romantic Drama  |   Release Date - Feb 24, 1955 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

With a cast that includes the likes of Betty Grable, Jack Lemmon and Marge and Gower Champion, you'd expect Three for the Show to be a much better show than it is. This is doubly a shame, as the premise, drawn from the earlier Too Many Husbands, has promise for a light, fun-filled musical, maybe even one with a bit of Lubitsch-ian sophistication thrown in. Unfortunately, Leonard B. Stern's screenplay is too clunky (not helped, presumably, by cuts insisted upon by the Catholic Legion of Decency in order to avoid a "Condemned" rating), and the dialogue doesn't have the requisite "spring" that is needed. Equally problematic, while the musical numbers themselves are quite good, they feel a bit forced and don't come across as part of the whole fabric the way they need to. Add to this the fact that Lemmon seems uncomfortable and that Gower, though a superb dancer, is not actor enough to carry his role, and you can see why Three fails to live up to its promise. That said, however, Grable does very well with her role, even if she is a bit mature for Lemmon, and the numbers -- with some stunning Jack Cole choreography and some exceptional dancing by the Champions-- do pick the picture up quite a bit.