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Posted: 14 Nov 2005, 07:13
by webmaster

I must admit "JUMBO" is one of my favourite Doris Day films. I had heard about it but got the impression it wasn't very good so I didn't rush to watch it. Then one day, I caught it on TV and was enchanted by it. Great songs, a marvelous cast - Durante, Raye and Boyd were all excellent - colour, drama, animals and Doris Day singing. What more do you want?!!

You can read Ralph McKnight's review and listen to the music here:

Has anyone not seen it?


Posted: 14 Nov 2005, 10:10
by Vicki M
I like the feel of this movie, but I am not to much of a circus-movie person. I fast forward to Doris - skipping the circus-related stuff. Her performance and songs were terrific. I love to watch those tears begin to well up when Steven Boyd tries to apologize after he finally catches up to them towards the end of the movie.


Posted: 14 Nov 2005, 11:51
by ray
Ths film had a 50's look and feel to it. Its is strangely enchanting once you get onto it. Doris singing, Lttle Girl Blue, was wonderful. And the starting over theme and the big Movie Musical feel to it was great. This was Doris's last Movie musical and allthough not well received, it was a grand exit to her Musical movie days.

good show!

Posted: 14 Nov 2005, 13:23
by howard
I gave "Jumbo" a "good" rating. I enjoyed it tremendously ... the cast was excellent ... the songs were great ... I especially love DD singing "My Romance" and "Over and Over Again. It would have rated an "excellent" except for the fact that the editing could have been better. It tended to drag in spots. Aside from that, it's an excellent showcase for a wonderful cast.

Posted: 14 Nov 2005, 13:36
by bluebird1115
There's a lot to like in this film, but overall it only achieves a "good" rating from me.

In the opening circus parade the poor MGM lot appears to be falling down around them.

The players do their best with a less than stellar script. Memorable moments include the excellent "Why Can't I?" and "Little Girl Blue."

The finale falls totally flat and leaves me feeling less than inspired.

Day is versatile and convincing in her role, and Raye and Durante supply us with some fun moments.


Posted: 15 Nov 2005, 08:54
by Jas1
I gave this a "good" too. I particularly love Doris singing with Martha Raye - "Why Can't I?" - now there is another underrated singer! Stephen Boyd too was from North of Ireland - go boy!

Billy Rose's Jumbo

Posted: 15 Nov 2005, 12:19
by DorisDayFanatic
Billy Rose's Jumbo is also one of my favorite Doris Day films.

Doris Day, shines as Kitty Wonder in this great film centered around the Circus set. And Jimmy Durante, has that same charisma and energy as ever as Pop Wonder. This is truly a film for the entire family, full of love, laughs, and morals.

Very underrated classic, that was the last of the Great MGM Musicals. Also starring Martha Raye, and Stephen Boyd.

For anyone who likes Circus musicals, and Doris Day this is truly a fantastic film. Full of beautiful songs including "Why Can't I", "Little Girl Blue", "Most Beautiful Girl In The World" and many more.


Posted: 15 Nov 2005, 21:01
by Ken
This movie had a great cast and is very good but I'm not into circus movies.Doris is excellent as always. I rated Jumbo as GOOD.


Posted: 16 Nov 2005, 00:50
by joe t.
When I read in the paper that Doris had signed to do a circus picture, "Jumbo", which was a less-than-smash-hit Broadway musical from the early 1940s, my heart sank. At the time, Doris was on a roll with one box office hit after another and I couldn't imagine who in their right mind would think that "Jumbo" would continue that streak. Musicals were dead and circus pictures were usually box office poison.

As we know, it laid a big bomb at the box office. I was hugely relieved when her next picture, "Thrill Of It All", put her back on top.

I recall that Richard Burton was originally mentioned for the male lead. Steven Boyd was already cast to co-star with Liz Taylor in "Cleopatra" around the same time. I believe that movie started filming but Liz became seriously ill and they shut down production. Boyd got out of it and, when filming began again months later, Richard Burton had the Marc Antony role and he and Liz became tabloid fodder. Steven Boyd wound up as D's co-star. Imagine what might have happened if Richard Burton had been Doris' male lead instead!

When "Jumbo" came to our local theater, I dragged my sister with me to see it. It was sometime in January, the temperature was about 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and the huge Loew's theatre was nearly empty. Not a good environment to see a musical about a circus. I always loved seeing Doris, each movie was like a visit with someone special. She gave a fine performance but I was disappointed that almost no one I knew would see it.

One other tidbit of info: When Doris bought her first house near the Warner studios, she purchased it from Martha Raye. Martha had mirrored the walls of most of the house and Doris removed them all when she moved in.


Posted: 16 Nov 2005, 04:01
by ray
I love postings lke yours Joe, which tells where and when you were when you saw a paticular DD movie or TV show.

Your Telling of your viewing of Jumbo gives a clear and distinct mood of the time and place.

I would love to see a well done musical Biopic of Doris and her life and career so a whole new generation can respect and know about Doris's enormous talent. They have done it with Ray Charles and Johnny Cash, why not Doris!


Posted: 17 Nov 2005, 14:35
by Betty
I recall Jumbo fondly. laughed ou loud when Jimmy Durante was asked where Jumbo was and he standing right in front of Jumbo said, "What elephant".

I Liked, Not Loved "Jumbo"

Posted: 18 Nov 2005, 16:24
by Ralph
I am not crazy about circus flicks, but I love Doris Day in practically anything. She brought the "light" to this movie for me. "My Romance" is my favorite and I think it (the song) was devinely directed.

I always enjoy seeing Doris approaching slapstick from a realisitic standpoint, exactly like Lucille Ball or Joan Davis. I can't think of any actress that could have done that pool hall scene as well as Doris.

As a child, I never gave two hoots about THE CIRCUS. I didn't mind carnivals, but circuses? Nah!

"Billy Roses Jumbo" opened in New York during a newspaper strike, so it didn't get critiqued until it was too late to save it. Most New Yorkers didn't know that it was playing at Radio City. As a result, it was labelled a "flop." But I think that if it hadn't been for that strike, it would have been well-received.

I thought it was very "generous" for Doris to share first, but equal billing with the other three stars. As huge a star as she was, she could have insisted on her name going solo above the title, ala "The Pajama Game."

Picture it:




Co-starring Stephen Boyd, Martha Raye and JIMMY DURANTE

with Dean Jagger

in CinemaScope


Posted: 22 Nov 2005, 08:58
by Jas1
What a great story Lauren.

Posted: 10 Dec 2005, 00:54
by Debbi Austen
When this movie came out, it must have been a spectacular circus musical. Very colorful, very unusual acts. Durante is the perfect clown. For a circus movie buff this is a true prize. Doris is beautiful.

Compared to Doris' other movies, does this movie show off her comic or dramatic talent? no. Does it have a good plot? no. The movie seems to explot Doris' fame more than show off her talents. I gave this film an average rating. (Sorry).

Posted: 26 Apr 2007, 19:00
by dayniac
I like this movie -but - not one of my favorites. As always - she was great in it. Wish she could have made it a few years earlier - it would have gone over better in the 50's. Musicals were not as popular at this time. Its really a beautifully done movie - very pleasing to the eye. I love the clown scene at the end.
Here's a cute picture of Doris feeding the elephants.



Posted: 26 Apr 2007, 19:27
by webmaster
Jumbo is one of my favourite Doris films! 8)

Doris sings "My Romance": ... My-Romance

Posted: 27 May 2007, 09:41
by dayniac
Here are some nice photos of Doris from Jumbo. It's such a lovely movie - so enjoyable. And of course Doris was lovely in it.







Hope you enjoyed these.

Posted: 27 May 2007, 10:25
by Natalier
this movie is great, I just love the singing and Doris and Stephen made a good team together. I always watch it over and over again get it I am such an idoit. Love the pictures that are there.

Jumbo Trailer

Posted: 06 Jun 2007, 10:59
by webmaster

Posted: 08 Jun 2007, 06:05
by puck
I did vote excellent, because I find the movie funny. Did love the songs.
Beside that "Jumbo" was Doris Day last musical, it also was that of MGM.



Posted: 08 Jun 2007, 06:39
by webmaster
Thanks Puck, that's a great pic.

I reduced it to 10" wide as huge pics throw the column width out the window and makes it hard to read the text.

If people could re-size their images to a maximum of 10 inches wide(254mm), that would really help.

Posted: 08 Jun 2007, 18:41
by dayniac
Thanks Bryan ! I love Jumbo - its a beautiful movie and Doris sounded and looked so marvelous !

Thanks again !



Posted: 08 Jun 2007, 18:55
by webmaster
That was puck's pic but I really like the one you just posted. Hadn't seen that before either.
Must have been a strain to always have had to look happy and healthy for Doris sometimes!

Or maybe I'm confusing our lifestyles!

Posted: 08 Jun 2007, 19:03
by dayniac
OH- I meant thanks for posting the Jumbo trailer.
Enjoyed watching it.

Well - it it was a strain for her -- she certainly didn't let it show. And neither do you !!

Thanks again !

Last theatre performance of Billy Rose’s Jumbo

Posted: 17 Aug 2007, 05:27
by webmaster
Last theatre performance of Billy Rose’s Jumbo


On This Day in History: August 16: Curtains for a Fantastic Theater

MANHATTAN — It was on August 16, 1939 that the lights dimmed on the last performance of Billy Rose’s great show with a circus theme, Jumbo, at the Hippodrome on Sixth Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets. Demolition of the giant theater began the next day. When the Hippodrome opened on April 12, 1905, the show was also one of circus acts and ballets: A Yankee Circus on Mars.

What happened between the opening and closing shows at The Hippodrome were not the best things that could happen in showbiz. The Hippodrome was inspired by Frederic W. Thompson and Elmer S. Dundy, who created the great Luna Park amusement center at Coney Island. Advertised as the “world’s largest playhouse,” the Hippodrome claimed statistics for itself that were staggering. It accommodated over 5,000 customers at one time. The depth of its stage from footlights to back wall was 110 feet, while in length the stage exceeded 200 feet, nearly equal to a whole city block.

The Hippodrome stage was lit by 5,000 incandescent lights and 53 calcium lights. The staff of over 1,000 required to run the house included 78 electricians and 22 engineers. It employed a permanent ballet of 200 as well as 400 chorus girls and 100 chorus boys. The vastness of the house precluded ordinary entertainments. John Golden, who wrote words for some of the songs presented there, said in despair: “The Hippodrome was so big that audiences could never hear the lyrics.” Nor could they hear most of the dialogue.

Spectacle was all the house could properly offer and, in its hey-day, all it presented. After a few theater seasons, Thompson and Dundy found themselves bankrupt. In spite of the huge seating capacity, the house was insufficient to underwrite the costs of producing the extravaganzas which took place.


After the failure of Thompson and Dundy, such experienced producers as the Shuberts and Charles Dillingham tried in vain to make The Hippodrome pay. Eventually, the theater was taken over by the Keith-Albee vaudeville chain, which presented a combination of movies and vaudeville acts. The Hippodrome stood vacant from 1930 to 1935 until Billy Rose moved in with his lavish Jumbo. For his production, the orchestra level was gutted and rearranged to make it resemble a circus tent. The book by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur allowed for a large number of circus acts. The music composed by Rodgers and Hart was fantastic. Jimmy Durante was the star. Paul Whiteman, who made an entrance on a large white horse, conducted the orchestra. Hundreds of animals, acrobats, clowns, and other circus standbys cavorted in the gigantic old theater. In spite of all that, not enough theatre-goers were attracted and the gigantic initial outlay did not recoup more than about half of the investment.

Razing of the theater began the day after Jumbo closed, but the site was not developed until 1952, when a garage and skyscraper were built there.

In 1962 Billy Rose’s Jumbo was released as a motion picture and Jimmy Durante was back as the star, supported by Martha Raye and Doris Day. The same great Rodgers and Hart music was also back.

Article by Brooklyn Eagle - please visit: ... 3&id=14863

Illustrations found online

Jumbo dies.

The Hippodrome: