Musical with a nice pedigree, but it falls flat. In the 1930s, the play, with Ethel Merman, ran for more than a year. A movie came out in 1936 with Merman and Bing Crosby. Twenty years later, here comes the remake, and Bing Crosby is back. But the plot has nothing to do with the original. In fact, other than the title, the two movies have only one thing in common: several Cole Porter songs. Bing Crosby, Cole Porter, Donald O’Connor, Mitzi Gaynor ... what could go wrong?
Well, this movie is dreary. Everyone seems to be going through the motions. You get Porter classics like “Anything Goes” and “I Get a Kick Out of You”, but not much else. Zizi Jeanmaire does a ballet number that stops the show, and I don’t mean in a good way. The plot, a farce about love, lacks sizzle, which makes sense when one of the couples of Bing (53 years old) and Zizi (32 years old).
Gaynor is the best thing about the movie, the only person with a pulse. I’m reminded of a Randy Newman article in Rolling Stone back in the early 70s.
Once he went to see Liza Minnelli rehearse a TV dance number, and after it was over she asked him how he liked it.
"You were a real Mitzi Gaynor out there," he replied, an assessment that apparently did not impress Liza. "But I always liked Mitzi Gaynor," Randy explained later with a shrug.
The great Glenn “DVD Savant” Erickson points out that the best film version of the song “Anything Goes” remains the opening scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom:
Here is the whole movie, if for some reason you are dying to see it: