4 January 1955, Brooklyn Daily Eagle by Jane Corby, “Donald O’Connor Suffered For Art in ‘Show Business’”
For Donald O’Connor, the filming of this picture was hazardous. His role is strenuous, for he both acts and dances in the film, and he suffered for both arts. He got a swollen jaw when Dan Dailey, playing his dad, slapped his face in one scene, and he bruised his knee in one of the leaps he took with Mitzi Gaynor, during a fast dance to Marilyn Monroe’s rendition of “Lazy.” He almost qualified for artificial respiration in a scene where Ethel Merman, as his mother, attempts to sober him up after a night out by dousing his head in cold water.
His list of mishaps is lengthy. He tore his palm when he grasped an exotic wire tree in his “A Man Chases a Girl Until She Catches Him” number, a very strenuous dance. He got hit on the head by a cocoanut during the same dance, which required so many scorching lights during the filming (522) that the temperature was 128 degrees, though three $15,000 portable air conditioning trucks released 12,000 cubic feet of air a minute to cool the set.
Don leaped up walls, trees, over and under fountains, statues and bridges during this “Chase” number, inspired by a kiss from Marilyn Monroe. In another scene he did a Highland fling and learned to play the bagpipe—off screen—from Alex Black, veteran bagpipe major of the famous Balmoral highlanders, who accompanied him in his Highland fling for the film.