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The Great Ziegfeld (1936)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, Musical | 8 April 1936 (USA)
1:44 | Trailer

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This biography follows the ups and downs of Florenz Ziegfeld, famed producer of extravagant stage revues.



Won 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Billings
Fannie Brice (as Fannie Brice)
Audrey Dane
Ray Bolger
Dr. Ziegfeld (as Joseph Cawthorne)
Harriet Hoctor ...
Jean Chatburn ...
Mary Lou
Paul Irving ...


At the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, sideshow barker Flo Ziegfeld turns the tables on his more successful neighbor Billings, and steals his girlfriend to boot. This pattern is repeated throughout their lives, as Ziegfeld makes and loses many fortunes putting on ever bigger, more spectacular shows (sections of which appear in the film). French revue star Anna Held becomes his first wife, but it's not easy being married to the man who "glorified the American girl." Late in life, now married to Billie Burke, he seems to be all washed up, but... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


10 Big Shows In 1 See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 April 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran Ziegfeld  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film was first telecast in New York City Friday 5 April 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Philadelphia Friday 27 December 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in San Francisco Sunday 13 April 1958 on KGO (Channel 7), and, finally, in Los Angeles Sunday 4 November 1961 on KTTV (Channel 11). See more »


In the "Rhapsody in Blue" portion of the mammoth "Pretty Girl" number, one of the silver-fringe-and-antlers quartet of dancers gets visibly disoriented when her group does its final moves. She's the second one from the left, and her movements are completely out of sync with the other three until, with a thump, she sits down on the stairs. Since the incredibly complex number was shot in very long takes, the error was allowed to remain in the film. See more »


Fanny Brice: Tell Mr Ziegfeld, I'm not in and if I was in, I wouldn't see him and if I did see him, tell him, I wouldn't buy a thing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits display the title of the film and the names of the stars in marquee lights, as they would be on Broadway. See more »


References Show Boat (1936) See more »


Humoresque, Op. 101/7
(1913) (uncredited)
Music by Antonín Dvorák
Played on the violin during the "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" sequence
See more »

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User Reviews

I loved it
25 April 2004 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

This is one of the best Hollywood bios I've ever seen. The pacing is fast for a movie from 1936 and William Powell and especially Louise Rainer are fantastic. Filmed in one take, the "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" musical number is incredible. One also gets to see Fanny Brice in a rare film appearance, and if you remember Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl you'll see how close Streisand got to perfectly imitating Brice. Also, Ray Bolger does an incredible dance routine which shows off his talent to greater effect then his performance as the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. He's unbelievable. My only complaint, and this is about the DVD, is that Warner should have made the effort of restoring this amazing picture. Most of it looks pretty good but there are many sections with scratches and speckles.

17 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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