Neglected Gem: What a Way to Go! with Shirley MacLaine, Paul Newman, and Dick van Dyke

Posted on March 18, 2017 at 8:00 am

I don’t know why “What a Way to Go!” is not considered a classic.  It is smart, colorful, and very funny, written by the people behind “Bells are Ringing” and with a once-in-a-lifetime all-star cast: Shirley MacLaine, Dick van Dyke, Dean Martin, Gene Kelly, Paul Newman, and Robert Mitchum.  Which one of those stars does she get romantically involved with?  All of them!  This is a movie about a woman who just wants a simple, happy life, but who accidentally keeps marrying men who become hugely successful.  Each marriage is portrayed in a different movie style.  Husband number one is hometown boy Dick van Dyke (seen as a silent movie farce), followed by American in Paris Paul Newman (arty French film), industrialist Robert Mitchum (opulent, big-budget glamorous Hollywood romance), and small-town song-and-dance man Gene Kelly (big Hollywood musical).  The costumes by Edith Head are wildly over the top.

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