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The Great Ziegfeld (1936)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,923 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 34 critic

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

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Title: The Great Ziegfeld (1936)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Jack Billings
...
Fannie Brice (as Fannie Brice)
...
Audrey Dane
...
Sampston
...
Ray Bolger
Ernest Cossart ...
Sidney
Joseph Cawthorn ...
Dr. Ziegfeld (as Joseph Cawthorne)
...
Sandow
Harriet Hoctor ...
Herself
Jean Chatburn ...
Mary Lou
Paul Irving ...
Erlanger
Herman Bing ...
Costumer
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

10 Big Shows In 1 See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 April 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran Ziegfeld  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Powell was loaned by MGM to Universal for the film, but Universal sold the film to MGM when costs mounted. Powell made My Man Godfrey (1936) for Universal instead. See more »

Goofs

The "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody" number incorporates snippets of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue", which was premiered circa 1924, but after its performance Anna Held, who died in 1918, is still portrayed as alive and married to Ziegfeld. See more »

Quotes

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: [after catching Ray Bolger doing a little softshoe backstage] Buddy, you're better with your feet than you are with your broom.
Ray Bolger: Mr. Ziegfeld, you think so? Gee, I wish you'd give me a chance. I've got talent, and I'd like to get away from shifting scenery and moving props.
Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: How long have you been a property boy?
Ray Bolger: Five years, but my heart hasn't been in it.
Ray Bolger: You've been working a long time without your heart, buddy.
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 »


Soundtracks

The Old Gray Mare
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played during the 'Paul Jones' dance
See more »

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User Reviews

A Bang for your bucks.
6 December 2001 | by (West Virginia) – See all my reviews

Boy, is this movie long......but worth it for the most part. William Powell is, as usual, his urbane, sophisticated self in a romanticized portrayal of Florenz Ziegfeld. Myrna Loy,leaving behind her wisecracking Nora Charles persona, does a fair job as Billie Burke. Burke, whose movie career was based on dithering, silly women, was once a beauty who graced the Follies. Loy doesn't come across as either but she has never given a bad performance so she is believable. But Louise Rainer as Anna Held is the one to watch here. A beautiful doll-like creature, she enchants you with her performance. The famous telephone scene may be overrated somewhat but it worked for me....and obviously for the Academy...it garnered her an Oscar. The music is so wonderful and the "Pretty Girl is Like a Melody" with Dennis Morgan is eye candy. One glaring fault is that there is a very short sequence with the great Fanny Brice in which she is singing "My Man" ( probably one of the greatest torch songs of all times) and it is just cut-off in mid warble as the story goes on to another scene. An unforgivable sin!! There could have been a little less talk and a little more singing/dancing in the movie but since it is a biography and not primarily a musical, all, except for the Brice faux pas, is forgiven!


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