12 user 5 critic

Living in a Big Way (1947)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 8 September 1947 (UK)
Leo Gogarty marries Margaud Morgan after a whirlwind romance just before shipping out to war. When he returns he is surprised to discover not only that his bride is not what she led him to ... See full summary »


Gregory La Cava


Gregory La Cava (screenplay), Gregory La Cava (story) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Gene Kelly ... Leo Gogarty
Marie McDonald ... Margo Morgan
Charles Winninger ... D. Rutherford Morgan
Phyllis Thaxter ... Peggy Randall
Spring Byington ... Mrs. Minerva Alsop Morgan
Jean Adair ... Abigail Morgan
Clinton Sundberg ... Everett Hanover Smythe
John Warburton ... 'Skippy' Stuart Simms
William 'Bill' Phillips ... Schultz
Bernadene Hayes ... Dolly
John Alexander ... Attorney Ambridge
Phyllis Kennedy ... Elsie, the Maid


Leo Gogarty marries Margaud Morgan after a whirlwind romance just before shipping out to war. When he returns he is surprised to discover not only that his bride is not what she led him to believe, but also that she expects a quick divorce. Both Mr. & Mrs Gogarty must find their place with or without each other in a society still adjusting to peace. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


M*G*M's new, gay, tip-topical musical! See more »


Comedy | Musical


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 September 1947 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Life's for the Loving See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film made its initial USA telecast in Los Angeles Tuesday 11 December 1956 on KTTV (Channel 11) followed by Minneapolis Sunday 27 January 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), and by Philadelphia Thursday 28 February 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6); it first aired in Norfolk VA 5 March 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Hartford CT 8 March 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), in New Haven CT 12 March 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), in Portland OR 14 March 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), in Altoona PA 19 March 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Chicago 20 May 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2) and in Seattle 28 July 1957 on KING (Channel 5); its San Francisco television premiere did not take place until 6 August 1959 on KGO (Channel 7) and its earliest documented telecast in New York City occurred 29 June 1961 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »


Schultz: [to Peggy] Y'know, if you had a bank roll and purple eyes, I'd ask you to be mine.
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Edited into American Masters: Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer (2002) See more »


Sung and Danced by Gene Kelly and children
Traditional Children's Song Medley
See more »

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User Reviews

An obscure film that has a very confused script but also memorable dancing
16 September 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Love Gene Kelly and musicals, but 'Living in a Big Way' is somewhat of a lesser film in Kelly's filmography and while there are definitely far worse film musicals out there while watchable there are far better as well.

There are pleasures here. The best thing about 'Living in a Big Way' is the dancing, which is memorable and a sheer delight. The sequence on the construction site sends up an absolute storm, and it is difficult to resist the adorable one with the dog. Kelly is charismatic in the lead and dances a dream as always, he's never put a foot wrong when it comes to dancing and has dazzled more often than not as a choreographer. Jean Adair and Spring Byington are breaths of fresh air in support, and Phyllis Thaxter charms even with a limited character and a subplot that is not developed that well.

You can't talk about a musical without mentioning the music/songs, and while only "It Had to Be You" is a classic all of them are very pleasant to listen to with nothing coming over as a dud. Gregory La Cava does reliably direction-wise with what there is, and the production values are lovingly done if not spectacular.

On the other hand, Clinton Sundberg falls completely flat and is not funny at all, what was intended as sardonic comes over as mean-spirited and Sundberg just grates to maximum effect. Outside of the musical numbers and the dance sequences, the story is nowhere near as memorable and can drag, suffering also from a lack of chemistry between Kelly and Marie McDonald, who is very sympathetic and cold with little charm or range.

Coming off worst is the script, which tonally is very confused, inept at worst, and doesn't seem to be able to decide what it wanted to be. It tries to be comedy, drama, a musical and social message film, and only really succeeds at the musical. The comedy has fleeting good moments, mainly with Adair, but frequently grates and lacks wit particularly with Sundberg. The drama lays it heavy with the sentimentality and the over-maudlin quality is hard to stomach on occasions, while the social message element was forced and unnecessary.

On the whole, an obscure with pleasures, like the memorable dancing, but because the script is as poor as it is, is worth it for curiosity value and for Kelly completests but not much else. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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