This is one of those `show-within-a-film' musicals, the show being a musical version of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew; so everybody has two roles - one in the film and the other in the play. The score for this quite splendid musical was by Cole Porter: this was MGM in their musical heyday (1953). Howard Keel played the part of Petruchio in the play and actor Fred Graham in the film. The role of Kate, played by temperamental actress Lilli Vanessi, was played by Kathryn Grayson. Ann Miller was dancer Lois Lane and Bianca and she was in fine form.
Several Porter favourites appeared here including `So in love', `Wunderbar', `Why can't you behave' and the rarely heard little gem `Were thine that special face'. A great comedy number, and one of the high-spots of the film, was the performance by Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore of `Brush up your Shakespeare'. But much of the repartee is brilliant and witty throughout. The quartet `We open in Venice' was subsequently reworked by Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, which made it even more popular. The musical direction was by Andre Previn and Saul Chaplin. Surely one of the all-time best musicals!