19 user 5 critic

Give a Girl a Break (1953)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 3 December 1953 (USA)
The star of an upcoming Broadway production, Janet Hallson, walks out during rehersals. The producers of the show, Ted Sturgis, Leo Belney and Bob Dowdy begin to search a replacement. After... See full summary »


Stanley Donen


Vera Caspary (story), Frances Goodrich | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Marge Champion ... Madelyn Corlane
Gower Champion ... Ted Sturgis
Debbie Reynolds ... Suzy Doolittle
Dolly Sharp Dolly Sharp ... Mrs. Olga Bradshaw / Joanna Moss (as Helen Wood)
Bob Fosse ... Bob Dowdy
Kurt Kasznar ... Leo Belney
Richard Anderson ... Burton Bradshaw
William Ching ... Anson Prichett
Lurene Tuttle ... Mrs. Doolittle
Larry Keating ... Felix Jordan
Donna Martell ... Janet Hallson


The star of an upcoming Broadway production, Janet Hallson, walks out during rehersals. The producers of the show, Ted Sturgis, Leo Belney and Bob Dowdy begin to search a replacement. After a quick audition, each favors someone else: Madelyn Corlane, Joanna Moss, Suzie Doolittle. The rest of the movie tells in a series of musical and dance scenes how they finally pick ... Written by Gerhard Gonter <g.gonter@ieee.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

3 December 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Donnez-lui une chance See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Pretty much ended MGM's attempt at making stars of Gower Champion and Marge Champion. The film bombed and lost over $1M. They appeared in one more MGM film in 1955. See more »


Theatre marquee has the "in" before rather than after the space for the star's name. See more »


Bob Dowdy: Suzy, you don't know how wonderful it is to meet someone like you. Someone I can, converse with.
Suzy Doolittle: That's the way I feel too. Everything's so crazy nowadays, that there's so many things I'd like to ask you, things I couldn't talk to my mother about. Like, for instance, rocket ships and what if you get to like someone and the first thing you know, he might have to go off and, or, all sorts of things.
See more »


Spoofed in The Flea Circus (1954) See more »


Puppet Master Dance
Music by Burton Lane
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Performed by Dolly Sharp (as Helen Wood) and Kurt Kasznar
See more »

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User Reviews

Reynolds and Fosse Steal the Film
19 January 2017 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Give a Girl a Break (1953)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

A Broadway show is about to open but the main star walks out over a disagreement. The producers go into a panic but decide to hold an open audition. Ted Sturgis (Gower Champion) wants his ex-wife (Marge Champion) to get the part. Leo Belney (Kurt Kasznar) wants his discovery Joanna Moss (Helen Ross) to get the role while Bob Dowdy (Bob Fosse) wants his amateur (Debbie Reynolds) to get the part.

GIVE A GIRL A BREAK isn't going to be mistaken for a masterpiece but if you're a fan of the Musical genre then it's certainly worth watching and especially since you've got some famous faces before they were well-known. This here was meant to be a showcase for the Champion team but the film ended up bombing and the two of them were pretty much done with the movies. Of course, when viewing this today the main focus will be on the Reynolds-Fosse connection.

In my opinion those two legends are the main reason to watch this as they actually make for a pretty cute couple and both of them turn in fine performances. This is especially true for Fosse who really delivers a believable performance and I thought he was extremely entertaining int he role of the producer who is often pushed around. Reynolds is as beautiful and charming as ever and there's no question that very few couple pull off that small town girl better. The rest of the cast members were okay in their parts but there's no question that they take a back seat.

The biggest problem with this film is that there's really not that much of a story. We basically have the competition thrown in so that we can get various dream sequences, which usually lead to a variety of dance numbers. In all honesty, I thought the dance numbers were decent but there's certainly nothing great here. I'd also argue that there weren't any great musical numbers either. It seems MGM was wanting to show off what talent they had on hand without giving away any great moments or musical numbers.

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