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The Great Ziegfeld (1936)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 4,014 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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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

The set for "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody" took months to build and cost over $200,000. This was substantially more than it cost the real Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. to produce a whole show, according to former Ziegfeld girl Doris Eaton. 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

Sampson: They want the cash.
Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Did you mean they're telling me that they sent the costumes for this show COD?
Sampson: No, sir, not this show. They want some money on the last show.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Featured in Broadway: The American Musical (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Gschichten aus dem Wienerwald (Tales from the Vienna Woods), Op. 325
(1868) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauß
Played by the band at the restaurant
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.


15 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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