A cavalcade of English life from New Year's Eve 1899 until 1933 seen through the eyes of well-to-do Londoners Jane and Robert Marryot. Amongst events touching their family are the Boer War,... See full summary »
Midshipman Roger Byam joins Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian aboard HMS Bounty for a voyage to Tahiti. Bligh proves to be a brutal tyrant and, after six pleasant months on Tahiti, ... See full summary »
Youthful Father Chuck O'Malley led a colorful life of sports, song, and romance before joining the Roman Catholic clergy, but his level gaze and twinkling eyes make it clear that he knows ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Universal Pictures bought the film rights to Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.'s life story from his widow Billie Burke in late 1933. William Powell was to play Ziegfeld, Burke was to play herself and it would feature specialties by Fanny Brice, Judy Garland (and her sisters), Eddie Cantor and Ray Bolger. When Universal decided to make a faithful film version of the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II musical "Show Boat", which Ziegfeld himself had originally produced onstage, Universal sold "The Great Ziegfeld" to MGM in March 1935 while still in pre-production. Only Powell, Brice and Bolger survived to the final picture. Ironically, MGM would buy the rights to "Show Boat" from Universal in 1942, and remake the musical, in Technicolor, in 1951 (Show Boat (1951)). See more »
At the Chicago World's Fair, as the Great Sandow (Nat Pendleton) lowers the barbell with the ladies inside, it lowers at a controlled rate, rather than as if a man was actually handling it. See more »
If I can give Belasco four dollars for silk stockings made of cotton, I can give Ziegfeld a little more for a mink coat made of skunk.
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An actor portraying composer Jerome Kern is seen in an office playing "Look for the Silver Lining" on the piano, but he is not mentioned on any cast list for this film. He is simply called "Jerry" by the other characters in the scene. See more »
First impressions find William Powell (as Florenz "Ziggy" Ziegfeld Jr.) acting a little inebriated and a somewhat uncertain about his characterization; his "My Man Godfrey" (also 1936) performance is superior. Early on, co-star Frank Morgan (as Jack Billings) and Mr. Powell are reciting lines in the dark. They are more comfortable as the hours pass. The second half-hour introduces French-accented showgirl Luise Rainer (as Anna Held), who won an "Academy Award" as "Best Actress" for her supporting role...
Ms. Rainer occasionally adds some spark to the story, but her award for giving the best female performance of the year 1936 is arguable to the extreme. After an hour, dancer Ray Bolger takes the spotlight. Then, just before the intermission, watch for the extravagant "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" production number; this is the film's highlight. After the hour and a half point, find Mr. Bolger's dance solo. Just around the two-hour mark, Fanny Brice appears, to sing a partial "My Man". Myrna Loy (as Billie Burke) finally arrives, also. Rainer's tearful telephone scene follows. MGM corralled their then majority vote at "Oscar" time.
***** The Great Ziegfeld (3/22/36) Robert Z. Leonard ~ William Powell, Luise Rainer, Myrna Loy, Ray Bolger
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