Billy Rose's Jumbo

Billy Rose's Jumbo is a 1962 American musical film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Doris Day, Stephen Boyd, Jimmy Durante, and Martha Raye. An adaptation of the stage musical Jumbo produced by Billy Rose, the film was directed by Charles Walters, written by Sidney Sheldon, and featured Busby Berkeley's choreography. It was nominated for an Academy Award for the adaptation of its Rodgers and Hart score.

The Broadway show Jumbo opened on November 16, 1935, and was the last musical produced at the New York Hippodrome before it was torn down in 1939. Original producer Billy Rose stipulated that if a film version was ever made, he must be credited in the title, even if he were not personally involved. Both play and film feature songs by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, although the film borrows two songs from Rodgers and Hart shows other than Jumbo (including "This Can't Be Love", from "The Boys from Syracuse"). Despite featuring such Rodgers and Hart standards as "My Romance" and "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World", neither the original play nor the film was especially successful. The film was Doris Day's last screen musical.

Stephen Boyd's singing voice was dubbed by James Joyce. On April 2, 2007, Robert Osborne of TCM, introducing the MGM film Fearless Fagan (1952) directed by Stanley Donen, said that Donen was due to direct Jumbo right after Singin' in the Rain in 1952. However, MGM decided the script was not ready, so Jumbo was not filmed until 1962 with a different director and stars. Both play and film feature Durante leading a live elephant and being stopped by a police officer, who asks him, "What are you doing with that elephant?" Durante's reply, "What elephant?", was a show-stopper in 1935. This comedy bit was reprised in his role in Billy Rose's Jumbo and is likely to have contributed to the popularity of the idiom, the "elephant in the room".

Billy Rose's Jumbo
Poster - Billy Rose's Jumbo
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCharles Walters
Produced byMartin Melcher
Joe Pasternak
Written byBen Hecht
Charles MacArthur
Sidney Sheldon
StarringDoris Day
Stephen Boyd
Jimmy Durante
Martha Raye
Music byRichard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
adapted and conducted by
George Stoll
CinematographyWilliam H. Daniels
Edited byRichard W. Farrell
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
December 6, 1962
Running time
127 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$ 4 million[1]


The Wonder Circus comes to a town in the Midwest with its featured attraction, Jumbo the elephant. Pop Wonder owns the circus, but his continued gambling losses in crap games leaves him (and the circus) with an ever-growing number of IOUs.

His daughter, Kitty Wonder, hires a newcomer, Sam Rawlins, as both a performer and tent hand. She is unaware that Sam is the son of circus mogul John Noble, whose ambition is to buy the Wonder Circus for himself. Noble has been quietly buying up the IOUs with Sam's help and abruptly takes control of the family's business, leaving the Wonders without a show.

Kitty, Pop and his longtime fiancée Lulu go off on their own, forming a traveling carnival, but it isn't quite the same. Sam, however, has fallen in love with Kitty and has a guilty conscience about what he has done. Sam splits from his father and rejoins the Wonders, bringing with him an old friend of theirs, Jumbo.



MGM bought the rights to the musical soon after it reached the stage. In 1947 Charles Waters requested he make the film of the musical as his first assignment; the studio agreed. In 1950 it was announced Arthur Freed would produce and Howard Keel and Jimmy Durante would star.[2] Production was held up due to litigation. Years later MGM made the movie.[3]


A soundtrack album Billy Rose's Jumbo of the film was issued by Columbia Records in 1962.


According to MGM accounts, the film earned $2.5 million in the US and Canada and $1.5 million overseas, but because of its high cost recorded a loss of $3,956,000. It was the last film producer Joe Pasternak made at MGM.[1]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:


Billy Rose's Jumbo was released to DVD in a Region 1 DVD by Warner Bros. on April 26, 2005, and also as part of Volumes 1 and 2 of The Doris Day Collection on April 10, 2007.

See also


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. ^ WARNERS ACQUIRES PLAY BY FAY KANIN: Buys 'Goodbye, My Fancy' as Vehicle for Joan Crawford-- Ware Novel Also Purchased Of Local Origin By THOMAS F. BRADY Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 07 June 1950: 34.
  3. ^ Conquest of Mars Told by Bradbury: MGM Will Picturize Novel; Walters Explains 'Jumbo' Yen Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 15 Feb 1960: C9.
  4. ^ "AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-13.

External links

20th Golden Globe Awards

The 20th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film for 1962 films, were held on March 5, 1963.

Apolonia Van Voorden

Apolonia "Miss Loni" Van Voorden (April 14, 1926 - November 11, 2012) was a Dutch American foot juggler who began her career at the age of 10 in her father's family circus in the Netherlands.Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 1926, Van Voorden emigrated to the United States on March 28, 1950 and gave her first performance there with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, working in a display with juggler Francis Brunn. After being introduced to Cecil B. Demille she was asked to be in his 1952 movie, The Greatest Show on Earth. Ten years later in 1962 she was cast as a circus performer in the movie Billy Rose's Jumbo.Ms. Van Voorden became a naturalized United States Citizen on July 9, 1963.In addition to performing with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Van Voorden's extensive career also saw her juggle with Circus Vargas, The Polack Brothers Circus, and Minsky's Follies. She regularly performed at various venues such as "... fairs, festivals, night clubs, and special events." For two years Ms. Van Voorden was also featured as a half-time act with the Harlem Globetrotters.Ms. Van Voorden was voted the "Queen of the Circus" in 1961 by the International Circus Fans Association.

Billy Rose's Jumbo (soundtrack)

Billy Rose's Jumbo is the soundtrack album to the 1962 film of the same name: featuring Doris Day, Stephen Boyd, Jimmy Durante, and Martha Raye. Columbia Masterworks Records released the recording on November 12, 1962 under catalog numbers OL-5860 (monaural LP) and OS-2260 (stereophonic). "Over and Over Again" was released as a single on CBS with "This Can't Be Love" as the B-side.

Born to Sing (1942 film)

Born to Sing is a 1942 American feature film directed by Edward Ludwig starring Virginia and Ray McDonald.

Bright Lights (1935 film)

Bright Lights is a 1935 film directed by Busby Berkeley.

Busby Berkeley

Busby Berkeley (born Berkeley William Enos; November 29, 1895 – March 14, 1976) was an American film director and musical choreographer.

Berkeley devised elaborate musical production numbers that often involved complex geometric patterns. Berkeley's works used large numbers of showgirls and props as fantasy elements in kaleidoscopic on-screen performances.

Charles Walters

Charles Walters (November 17, 1911 – August 13, 1982) was a Hollywood director and choreographer most noted for his work in MGM musicals and comedies in from the 1940s to the 1960s.

I Live for Love

I Live for Love is a 1935 American musical comedy film directed by Busby Berkeley and starring Dolores del Rio, Everett Marshall and Guy Kibbee.The film's sets were designed by the art director Esdras Hartley.

Jumbo (musical)

Jumbo is a musical produced by Billy Rose, with music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart and book by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.

List of awards and nominations received by Doris Day

This is a list of awards and nominations for Doris Day.

Little Girl Blue (song)

"Little Girl Blue" is a popular song with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart, published in 1935. The song was introduced by Gloria Grafton in the Broadway musical Jumbo.

New York Hippodrome

The Hippodrome Theatre also called the New York Hippodrome, was a theater in New York City from 1905 to 1939, located on Sixth Avenue between West 43rd and West 44th Streets in the Theater District of Midtown Manhattan. It was called the world's largest theatre by its builders and had a seating capacity of 5,300, with a 100x200ft (30x61m) stage. The theatre had state-of-the-art theatrical technology, including a rising glass water tank.

The Hippodrome was built by Frederick Thompson and Elmer Dundy, creators of the Luna Park amusement park at Coney Island, with the backing of Harry S. Black's U.S. Realty, a dominant real estate and construction company of the time, and was acquired by The Shubert Organization in 1909. In 1933, it was re-opened as the New York Hippodrome cinema, and became the stage for Billy Rose's Jumbo in 1935. Acts which appeared at the Hippodrome included numerous circuses, musical revues, Harry Houdini's disappearing elephant, vaudeville, silent movies such as Neptune's Daughter (1914) and Better Times (1922) and 1930s cinema.The theatre closed in August 1939 for demolition, and in 1952 a large modern office building known as "The Hippodrome Center" (1120 Avenue of the Americas), opened on the site.

Over and Over Again (disambiguation)

"Over and Over Again" is a 2015 song by Nathan Sykes.

"Over and Over Again" may also refer to:

"Over and Over Again", a 1935 song from the musical Jumbo, later included on the Billy Rose's Jumbo soundtrack

"Over and Over Again", a 1946 single by Gene Autry and Cindy Walker

"Over and Over Again", a 1953 single by Alma Cogan and Les Howard

"Over and Over Again", a 1956 song by the Moonglows from the Rock, Rock, Rock soundtrack

"Over and Over Again", a 1963 song by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, released in 1963 as the B-side of "Act Naturally"

"Over and Over Again", a 1968 single by Stranger Cole

"Over and Over Again", a 1970 single by John Walker

"Over and Over Again", a 1991 song by the Smithereens from Blow Up

"Over and Over Again (Lost and Found)", a 2005 song by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah from their album Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

"(Over and) Over Again", a 2007 song by Morgana Lefay from Aberrations of the Mind

"Over and Over (and Over Again)", a 2008 song by Hale from Above, Over and Beyond

"Say It (Over and Over Again)", a 1963 song by John Coltrane Quartet on their 1963 album Ballads

Rodgers and Hart

Rodgers and Hart were an American songwriting partnership between composer Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) and the lyricist Lorenz Hart (1895–1943). They worked together on 28 stage musicals and more than 500 songs from 1919 until Hart's death in 1943.

Stage Struck (1936 film)

Stage Struck is 1936 American musical film directed by Busby Berkeley and starring Dick Powell, Joan Blondell and Warren William.The film's sets were designed by the art director Robert M. Haas.

The Jumbo Fire Chief Program

The Jumbo Fire Chief Program is an American old-time radio program starring Jimmy Durante, Donald Novis and Gloria Grafton. The series originated from WEAF radio in New York and was broadcast nationally over the Red Network of the National Broadcasting Company. The series was based on Billy Rose's musical circus act Jumbo which premiered on Broadway in November 1935 and a continuation of sponsor Texaco's The Fire Chief, a radio program starring Ed Wynn that ended its three-year run several months before Jumbo' s premiere. The program starred Jimmy Durante as Claudius "Brainy" Bowers, the overzealous circus promoter of the Consodine circus act who usually gets the show in financial crisis due to his over exaggeration of the show's profits, and Donald Novis and Gloria Grafton as young love interests Matt Mulligan, Jr. and Mickey Consodine. Mickey is the daughter of unheard character John Consodine, the owner of the circus act.

The radio program broadcast an unknown number of episodes over the NBC from October 22, 1935–January 14, 1936. The series was broadcast from and performed at the New York Hippodrome before an average crowd of 4500–5000 spectators each week.

There's a Small Hotel

"There's a Small Hotel" is a 1936 popular song composed by Richard Rodgers, with lyrics by Lorenz Hart. Originally written for but dropped from the musical Billy Rose's Jumbo (1935), it was then used in On Your Toes (1936), where it was introduced by Ray Bolger and Doris Carson. Betty Garrett sang it in the 1948 film Words and Music, and it was also interpolated in the film version of Pal Joey (1957) with a fine Frank Sinatra-Nelson Riddle collaboration.

According to the biography of Lorenz Hart by Frederick Nolan (Lorenz Hart - A Poet on Broadway, 1994; Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-510289-4), the song was inspired by a visit that Richard Rodgers made to the Stockton Inn, in Stockton, NJ. Hart reputedly found the melody insistently cloying and often ad-libbed raunchy parody verses, much to Rodgers' chagrin.

Another claimant to be the inspiration for the song is the Montecito Inn, in Santa Barbara County, California. Renovations to the hotel in the 1950s replaced the wishing well, mentioned in the song, by a floral fountain.

This Can't Be Love (song)

"This Can't Be Love" is a show tune and a popular song from the 1938 Rodgers and Hart musical The Boys from Syracuse when it was sung by Eddie Albert and Marcy Westcott. The lyrics poke fun at the common depiction of love in popular songs as a host of malignant symptoms, saying, "This can't be love because I feel so well."

The song was a hit for the orchestras of Horace Heidt (vocal by Larry Cotton) and Benny Goodman (vocal by Martha Tilton) in late 1938 and early 1939.

You'll Never Walk Alone (Doris Day album)

You'll Never Walk Alone is a Columbia Records album number CS 8704, recorded by Doris Day with Jim Harbert's Orchestra. It was released on September 17, 1962. It contains mostly songs of a religious or spiritual nature. On April 23, 2007 it was released, together with Hooray for Hollywood, Volume I, as a compact disc by Sony BMG Music Entertainment.

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