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The Great Ziegfeld (1936)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,903 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:

The Last Word In Entertainment! 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

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 »

Quotes

Billie Burke: I'm here.
Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Yes, and so am I.
Billie Burke: But it must seem like kindergarten to you.
Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Why?
Billie Burke: The great Mr. Ziegfeld, producer of the Follies, surrounded by hundreds of beautiful women, sitting on a bench holding hands, watching the riverboats go back and forth. Doesn't sound a bit like you, does it?
Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: No, it doesn't. But, here I am, sitting on a bench, holding hands and watching the riverboats go back and forth... And regretting all the years I haven't known you.
Billie Burke: Didn't Anna Held take up a few of those years?
Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Yes...
[...]
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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Sobre las olas (Over the Waves)
(1887) (uncredited)
Music by Juventino Rosas
Played during Sandow's act
See more »

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User Reviews

 
well-made flick that whitewashes the true Flo Ziegfeld
9 June 2005 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Technically, this is a very well-made and slick movie. MGM certainly put a lot of energy into making this a top movie. However, the movie falls prey to what OFTEN happened with Hollywood bio-pics of the 1930s and 1940s--they don't let truth get into the way of a good story. The true story of Ziegfeld just doesn't come through in this picture--just a sanitized approximation of the man. This is alluded to somewhat in the movie, but the real life Ziegfeld was a rather selfish womanizer who left his poor wife with hardly a dime at his death. Billie Burke was the last Mrs. Ziegfeld and she returned to the stage due to these financial woes--hence, she probably never would have ended up in the Wizard of Oz or the Topper series if it wasn't out of necessity. It would have possibly been more interesting if the portrayal had focused on this aspect of him as well.


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