Jumbo

You are invited to rate and comment on the 39 films of Doris Day.

How do you rate "Jumbo"?

Poor
2
3%
Average
5
8%
Good
24
39%
Excellent
30
49%
 
Total votes: 61

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paul
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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by paul » 18 Aug 2010, 14:54

TCM Movie Fan -

I agree with you that it's a wonderful film.

By the way, James Joyce did the vocals for Stephen Boyd. Stephen actually recorded vocals but they were deemed not good enough by the Producer and Director as well as musical director and Richard Rodgers. It was felt that a very professional voice was needed for "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World". Bill Hayes initially did some recordings but they finally went with Joyce.

The picture, in another era, would probably have been hugely popular. MGM considered it as a film for Judy Garland in the 40's and as escapist entertainment during World War II, it might have been a smash. By the 60's it was considered quaint and old-fashioned. Even a lesser Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "Flower Drum Song" released a year before "Jumbo" proved to be a huge hit clearly indicating that audiences would go to musicals if they had a recent track record on the stage.

I think, too, that for many, the ultimate circus movie had been DeMille's Oscar-winning, "The Greatest Show on Earth" which came out about a decade before "Jumbo". It was lavish, costly and a blockbuster and any circus film that followed was bound to suffer by comparison.

All that being said, it certainly doesn't diminish the pure pleasure of watching "Jumbo" and hearing Doris Day's brilliant versions of the music of Rodgers and Hart. One of the highlights of her album with Andre Previn is her superb rendition of Rodgers and Hart's "Wait Till You See Him".

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Jas1
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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by Jas1 » 18 Aug 2010, 16:07

I agree Paul - and I think Doris never sounded better than dueting with Martha Raye on 'why can't I?'. Wonderful.

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paul
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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by paul » 18 Aug 2010, 16:34

I LOVE "Why Can't I".........brilliant performance by both artists and even at ten, sitting in that darkened movie theatre, I knew I was watching something extraordinary.

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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by webmaster » 18 Aug 2010, 17:38

Agree, Paul - although I've never seen it in a cinema! I think it's a magical film from another era - Doris is wonderful in it, as are her co-stars. Somehow people think it came at the wrong time - perhaps for some - I can't remember what I was doing at the time - probably taking loads of drugs - wish I'd seen Jumbo instead!

I'd love to see it in a cinema with other Doris Day fans - or with forum friends. :wink:
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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by TCMMovieFan » 18 Aug 2010, 18:03

Paul !
I had quite forgotten about the film FLOWER DRUM SONG - entertaining film but a bit too long and the singing was not very good. Shigeta & Soo had some problems staying on 'key' when singing so I wonder why they were not dubbed when Nancy Kwan obviously was by a studio singer. Also, I have seen YouTube clips of Miyoshi Umeki where she sang so much better but somehow in this film she just sang so-so. Nothing spectacular.
Has anyone here seen the 1960 BELLS ARE RINGING film ? The show was revived on Broadway not too long ago. It was a big hit on B'way for Judy Holliday but the movie did not do well at all. I did not think that Holliday was much of a singer and I was never vocally too keen on Dean Martin though he was a good comedian.
JUMBO was a glorious throwback to a different time though a great musical for Doris----I don't think it would have been quite as good if Judy Garland had done it instead in the 40's. It was a nice way for Doris to end the movie musical segment of her career with JUMBO. Her voice was in prime condition and she did have an affinity for the music of Richard Rodgers.
If I am not mistaken (I probably am ! LOL !) I think after JUMBO - MGM went on to produce UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN with Debbie Reynolds (who was Oscar nominated for this role) and then some final horribly poor musicals with CONNIE FRANCIS. I think the title was WHEN THE BOYS MEET THE GIRLS and it was totally stinko !
Then there were some isolated musicals from other studios but the MGM musical machine was totally spent !

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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by howard » 18 Aug 2010, 18:18

I too love the "Why Can't I?" number. The vocals are first-class and the entire number has a sweet, lazy, nostalgic feel to it. Almost like an old-fashioned greeting card. I think it's one of DD's finest musical moments. Back to Connie Francis: She made her film debut at MGM in "Where the Boys Are." It was fairly successful, although not very good, and her follow-up film was (I think!) "Follow the Boys." I believe that was the end of CF's film career. Back to "Jumbo": Thanks for your spot-on information, Paul ... we all appreciate your contributions to the forum.
Like Irene Dunne done.

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paul
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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by paul » 18 Aug 2010, 20:43

Thanks Howard but then we all really appreciate you too...lots and lots.

MGM announced they had purchased "Molly Brown" for Doris. This was published on the front pages of both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. After the disappointing reception of "Jumbo" they announced that Shirley MacLaine would star in it. When Shirley backed out due to an injury, Debbie jumped in. Interestingly, in 1990 Debbie wanted to star in "Postcards from the Edge" after Doris turned it down, but it ended up starring Shirley MacLaine. Finally in the mid-90's, after Doris, Nancy Reagan and others said no to Albert Brook's "Mother", Debbie ended up playing the role.

On the huge (78 feet across) cinemascope screen in early 1963, "Jumbo" was about as good as a movie musical could get as far as I was concerned and I almost had a temper tantrum getting my parents to allow me to stay and see it a second time. I was punished for my stubborness but did get to see it again.

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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by TCMMovieFan » 19 Aug 2010, 09:36

Thanks Paul !
I did not know about that Doris was originally considered for MOLLY BROWN. It was not mentioned in Debbie Reynold's book. According to Debbie - Shirley MacLaine was originally slated for MB but she was under contract to a Hal Wallis who would not release her to MGM and there were legal entanglements. Debbie had seen the musical on B'way and wanted very badly to do the film version though according to her several involved in the movie project - Director Chuck Walters and others - did not want her for this film. One hears so many different versions that its hard to tell which story is accurate.
As for Connie Francis - she came rather too late to the movies. I don't know exactly what she was being groomed for in the movies. MGM was running out of creative steam and it was hard to really find a cinematic place for CF.

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paul
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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by paul » 19 Aug 2010, 10:46

Howard - Connie actually did one other film at MGM in 1965. It was called "When the Boys Meet the Girls" co-starring with Harve Presnell and featuring guest turns by Hermans Hermits, Liberace and others. It was a badly warped version of "Girl Crazy" and featured some of the Gershwin classics and rehashed bits from the 1943 Garland-Rooney version. It was not a good movie.

As for "Molly Brown", you'd have to know Debbie to know why she didn't mention that MGM had purchased it specifially for Doris. There was always a bit of professional jealousy and Debbie didn't like to be thought of as third choice.

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paul
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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by paul » 19 Aug 2010, 10:51

TCM -

Hedda Hopper made the official headline announcement on March 2, 1962 that "MGM buys Molly Brown for Doris Day". It was repeated throughout the months in various news stories including pieces in the Chicago Tribune, Daily Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. At the time "Jumbo" was in production and everyone expected it to be a huge hit. It was only after it was released later that year and proved less than a smash that MacLaine was approached.

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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by Ania » 15 Oct 2011, 13:07

ImageImageImageImageImageImage
I LOVE YOU DORIS♥

“You haven't lived until you've lived with a cat.” Doris Day
Ania YouTube

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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by Ania » 29 Oct 2011, 18:10

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

:D
I LOVE YOU DORIS♥

“You haven't lived until you've lived with a cat.” Doris Day
Ania YouTube

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Doris Martin
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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by Doris Martin » 03 Jul 2012, 17:27

webmaster wrote:Jumbo is one of my favourite Doris films! 8)

Doris sings "My Romance":

http://stage6.divx.com/user/bryanjamesl ... My-Romance
My too dear Bryan..fantastic how she does her own horseback riding...not easy..Doris you are fantastic

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Johnny
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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by Johnny » 10 Oct 2012, 13:59

Billy Rose's Jumbo was on Turner Classics about a week ago. I had not watched this charming, funny and endearing film in a long time. I realized how good it made me and my family feel. The great comedy of Jimmy Durante and Martha Raye elevated this above the norm. The kids' favouite moment was the scene where Jimmy was trying to sneak Jumbo away and was asked, " Where are you going with that elephant?". Jimmy's priceless response was , "What elephant?". The kids roared with laughter. Imagine this, a fifty year- old film that produce this kind of emotion.

Regardless of wheter musicals or circus films are in fashion, we are fortunate that Doris, Stephen, Jimmy and Martha put this treasure on film. This is a film that is timeless and has aged well due to great performances, terrific music and great comedy. It was a good story.

What elese does an audience need?
Johnny

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jmichael
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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by jmichael » 11 Oct 2012, 06:47

Johnny wrote:Billy Rose's Jumbo was on Turner Classics about a week ago. I had not watched this charming, funny and endearing film in a long time. I realized how good it made me and my family feel. The great comedy of Jimmy Durante and Martha Raye elevated this above the norm. The kids' favouite moment was the scene where Jimmy was trying to sneak Jumbo away and was asked, " Where are you going with that elephant?". Jimmy's priceless response was , "What elephant?". The kids roared with laughter. Imagine this, a fifty year- old film that produce this kind of emotion.

Regardless of wheter musicals or circus films are in fashion, we are fortunate that Doris, Stephen, Jimmy and Martha put this treasure on film. This is a film that is timeless and has aged well due to great performances, terrific music and great comedy. It was a good story.

What elese does an audience need?
Well said!
Michael
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Doris Martin
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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by Doris Martin » 11 Dec 2012, 18:42

I have just seen JUMBO..again...and I still think Doris is wonderful...what she does..what she sings and dances is more than fantastic..it is UNIQUE..I love her,,,MM

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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by howard » 28 Jan 2013, 13:06

Here's the Hedda Hopper announcement about DD in "Molly Brown," as it appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

Doris Day Slated to Star in 'Molly Brown'
Friday 2nd March 1962

LOOKING AT HOLLYWOOD

Doris Day Slated to Star in 'Molly Brown'

Hollywood, March 1---Tammy Grimes' heart will be broken when she learns that Bob Wellman has bought "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" for Metro and that Doris Day is going to star. Tammy did a fine job with it on Broadway, but Doris is the No. 1 gal in movies. It was a great story when Gene Fowler first wrote it, and Meredith Wilson's music is among his best. Larry Weingarten will produce this big one. . .
Like Irene Dunne done.

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Johnny
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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by Johnny » 10 Apr 2014, 13:29

I saw Billy Rose's Jumbo on TCM on Doris' birthday on April 3rd and I appreciated even more. All the genuine background talent in the film is outstanding. This film was a huge undertaking and chemistry amongst the main characters is beautiful.

Doris' and Jimmy Durante' affection for Jumbo is at the heart of the film. Martha Raye and Stephen Boyd are great.They all did a brilliant job.

Jumbo is another underappreciated film of Doris'. It is a timeless feel-good classic.

The music, circus acts, dancing and singing are full of charm. I hope more people get to see this really great film.
.
Johnny

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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by webmaster » 10 Apr 2014, 15:10

Agree with you there, Johnny! It's always been one of my favourite musicals.

I did this as an experiment some years ago -

Jumbo meets Carousel:

http://youtu.be/PccoWS8MK5g

What do you think? :)
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Doris Martin
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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by Doris Martin » 10 Apr 2014, 16:30

webmaster wrote:Agree with you there, Johnny! It's always been one of my favourite musicals.

I did this as an experiment some years ago -

Jumbo meets Carousel:

http://youtu.be/PccoWS8MK5g

What do you think? :)
to me it is one of the best

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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by webmaster » 10 Apr 2014, 16:51

Thanks MM!

Doris and Gordon would have been great in it together!
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Johnny
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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by Johnny » 19 Apr 2014, 15:35

Thanks for a joyous experience watching Jumbo's Doris and Stephen in a vintage silent picture with a beautiful music score. It works very well.

This clip captures the imagination for many possibilities.
Johnny

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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by Johnny » 25 Mar 2015, 15:43

I saw Billy's Rose's Jumbo on TCM again this month and it always puzzles me why it did not make it as a financial success at that time.

Jumbo had n authentic feeling and outstanding actors. Perhaps audiences were not familiar with Stephen Boyd as a singer. I wonder if a singer popular at the time would have helped this film.

It is still to this day a really enjoyable and well made film for the entire fmily.

Doris was outstanding in such a physical role as Kitty Wonder.
Johnny

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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by Jas1 » 25 Mar 2015, 15:48

Johny, I think the reason is [as previously stated] - the film was a bit old fashioned for the time and not a new/ current Broadway hit pushing the envelope - e.g. West Side Story, Gypsy etc. Also I read once that it was released during an horrific Winter - which may have led to reduced numbers going to see it.

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Re: Jumbo

Unread post by Musiclover » 25 Mar 2015, 20:54

Johnny, I agree that Doris fulfilled the physically demanding role in "Jumbo" (as well as in other films) very well. Her natural athleticism just made it look easy.

P.S. I believe that Stephen Boyd's singing voice was dubbed by someone named James Joyce -- but Boyd did a good job of making it look like he was singing.

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