Parents' Guide to

The Unsinkable Molly Brown

By Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Debbie Reynolds is center stage in spirited 1964 musical.

Movie NR 1964 128 minutes
The Unsinkable Molly Brown Poster Image

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With a score by Meredith Willson (The Music Man), this film is filled with memorable singing and dancing. It's the only movie for which the irrepressible Debbie Reynolds earned an Oscar acting nomination. Her multiple talents are showcased from top to bottom. Right beside her is 1964 newcomer, Harve Presnell, a handsome romantic lead with a powerful voice. The majestic rural settings in The Unsinkable Molly Brown -- towering forests, rushing rivers, picturesque mountains -- are perfect matches for the melodies, some of which are delightfully recognizable. Costumes, sets, and comic performances are all top-notch; the musical numbers are inventive and dynamic. It's not a perfect film. There are few surprises, and the "true" story is a familiar one -- dirt-poor but ambitious wannabe goes after riches and happiness, and will stop at nothing to get them. And, the last third of this two-hour-plus movie relies on some cornball dialogue and hyper emotionality. Still, the movie is great fun and an even greater testament to the talents of Reynolds, who was America's sweetheart of that era. Okay for mature middle-graders and up.

Movie Details

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