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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Ask the Movie Mom

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Thanks for the great questions!

I’m trying to find out the name of a movie I saw back in the sixties, i’m not sure what year it was made. It was about a girl that just wants a simple married life but everytime she gets married her husbands end up getting rich and at the end she ends up back with her first boyfriend that was already rich but when they meet in the end he has lost his fortune.

One of my favorites! Shirley MacLaine in What a Way to Go! starring Paul Newman, Dick Van Dyke, Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, and Gene Kelly and some of the wildest costumes ever!

I remember a children’s movie from probably the early to mid 80’s about children who invent a flying ‘bubble’ with their computer in the basement of their house.  They then make it large enough to ride in and have some fantastic adventures. Do you have any idea what this movie is?

That’s Explorers with Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix.

A father and son wind up toy mouses that are connected together. I believe the story takes place during Christmas holidays. Their adventures are on city streets and in a sewer with rats. A crow trying to catch them. I remember the movie from HBO as a kid. It was late 70’s or early 80’s. The movie starts with a scene of a snow falling and looking thru a toy store window from outside. The toy father and son mouse were on display.

A lovely movie: “The Mouse and His Child.”

I’m searching for a film title for a friend. they only know the plot and saw it a few years back on Sundance. A boy and girl are friends and play a game involving a box. the game consisits of dares. Whoever has the box dares the other to do something and if they do they in turn get the box. they grow older and apart but still continue the game. This person thinks the film is European. possibly French or Italian. would love an answer to this. Thanks.

That’s a Belgian film released in 2003, Love Me If You Dare originally titled “Jeux D’Enfants.”

A man and woman meet as they are both planning their weddings while their future partners are busy elsewhere. They spend time together and start to fall in love but in the end go their own way. Later they both cancel their wedding but don’t know this of each other. The man then writes a book about the whole experience. Upon hearing about the book the woman realizes it’s not too late and looks up the man. Happy ending.

That’s It Had to Be You with Michael Vartan and Natasha Henstridge.

The movie was in black & white and I believe it was made in the 40s, maybe 50s… I’ve seen it when I was young. A woman living in a big house near the sea thinks that the ghost who is haunting her house is her mother’s, and she feels protected but she is in danger. Another ghost, “the nurse” I think, is her real mother and protects her, but she doesn’t trust her. At the end she knows the truth…

One of my favorite spooky movies! Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey in The Uninvited, which introduced the classic song, “Stella By Starlight.”

Do you know a movie, I think an American one, in which at one point a shady psycho/hitman who wants something from our hero, gives a pet cat a drop of LSD at an apartment, which kills it? At the end the stand off involves the bad guy unwittingly drinking the LSD overdose which the girl friend of leading man has swapped for drink.

Great one! That is Dollars with Goldie Hawn and Warren Beatty.


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