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The Great Ziegfeld (1936) Poster

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.

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Anna Held: [on the phone with Ziegfeld after learning of his marriage to Billie Burke] Hello, Flo... Yes. Here's Anna... I'm so happy for you today, I could not help calling you and congratulate you... Wonderful, Flo! Never better in my whole life!... I'm so excited about my new plans! I'm going to Paris... Yes, for a few weeks, and then I can get back, and then I'm doing a new show, and... Oh, it's all so wonderful! I'm so happy!... Yes... And I hope you are happy, too... Yes?... Oh, I'm so glad for you, Flo... Sounds funny for ex-husband and ex-wife to tell how happy they are, oui?... Yes, Flo... Goodbye, Flo... Goodbye...

[She hangs up]

Anna Held: Darling...

[she falls to her bed, sobbing]

Marie: My poor, petite! If you love him so, why did you divorce him?

Anna Held: Because I thought it would bring him back to me. I was sure that it would bring him back to me.

[she cries]

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Hotel doorman: Do you realize you gave me five pounds?

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Yes, I'm trying to lose weight.

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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.

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Fanny Brice: 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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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, Billie, she did. She was truly a wonderful woman.

Billie Burke: I love you for saying that.

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Look, there's another ferryboat going across to the Palisades. Will you keep your eyes on it while I tell you something?

Billie Burke: Must I look at a ferryboat to listen to you?

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Yes, or I won't be able to tell you.

Billie Burke: You mean the great lady's man is bashful?

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Strange as it may seem... in your presence, he is.

Billie Burke: All right, I'm looking.

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: I love you, Billie.

[Billie turns to look at him. Flo points]

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: The ferryboat... I haven't anything to offer you, because there's nothing that you really seem to need. You've made the most of yourself unassisted, and that's grand. But

[Billie starts to face him]

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Ferryboat. You're a great star already, so there's little I can offer you. Nothing I can give you... except my love.

Billie Burke: That isn't enough... I expect part of your ambition, half of your trouble, two-thirds of your worries... and all of your respect.

[They kiss]

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Little Egypt: Oh, Jack, is Ziegfeld a friend of yours?

Jack Billings: Yes, we've been pals for years, but you wouldn't like him.

Little Egypt: No?

Jack Billings: No, he's up one day and down the next. If he got $10,000 tomorrow, he'd spend it on the girl he happened to like tomorrow night. You wouldn't want to waste your time meeting a felloe like that.

Little Egypt: Oh, not if I met him on the right night.

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Sampson: This is about talent.

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Something good and cheap no doubt?

Sampson: Exactly! It's a young girl named Brice... Fanny... Fanny Brice. She;s working in burlesque.

Gene Buck: Say, I've seen that girl, Flo!

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Pretty?

Gene Buck: Well, yes and no. Shut your eyes and listen - yes! Open 'em and look - no, but a great performer!

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: We shall have a look at her at once - tonight!

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Sandow: This cheese is so strong it could walk over and say hello to your coffee.

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Well, it had better not. This coffee's too weak to answer it.

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Fanny Brice: Get me some viskey!

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Billie Burke: I wonder what General Grant would think if he knew we were using the very shadow of his tomb as our meeting place?

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Well, I never knew the general personally but I have an idea that he'd approve.

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Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: [after he has hired Jack Billings' valet away from him] Gentlemen never argue about gentlemen's gentlemen.

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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.

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Fanny Brice: [Admiring herself, and her showy costume, in the mirror] Look at ya'. You're workin' for Mr. Ziegfeld now, and ya' look like a million dollars. For the first time in your life, you're class, ya' mug.

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Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: [Scolding the wardrobe man for having dressed Miss Brice in an inappropriately showy costume] How do you expect Miss Brice to sing a sad song about her man, dressed up like a nightingale? I find personalities, and you try to destroy them. I didn't engage Miss Brice as a showgirl.

Clarence: [after having altered Miss Brice's costume to the bare minimum] Is that all right, Mr. Ziegfeld?

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Well, it's all right for now. Tomorrow, get her another outfit. And don't make it, buy it. Go to a second-hand store and get her an old dress. She's supposed to be a, an apache, a poor French girl, an urchin!

Clarence: [meekly] Yes, sir.

Fanny Brice: [looking disappointed] So, to work for Mr. Ziegfeld, I gotta' be an urchin. Even in burlesque I was middle class.

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Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: [referring to Fanny Brice, after her audition performance] She's all right. She's gonna' be great.

Sampson: And I discovered her!

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: [to Sampson] That's right, Sam, and you deserve a raise.

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: [to the other men in the room] And I'd give it to him, but I'm afraid he wouldn't approve of the expense.

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Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Oh, Sidney, I'm so terribly broke.

Sidney: But sir, isn't Mr. Billings going to help you?

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Sidney, he hasn't a nickel. He was lying to me just to make me feel better. We're both broke.

Sidney: I wouldn't worry about that, sir. You've been broke before, sir.

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Yes, I know. I've always laughed about it. But I can't laugh anymore, Sidney, because I've been wrong. I've got nothing. Nothing to leave anyone.

Sidney: Nothing, sir? You leave them the memories of the finest things ever done on the stage, sir. You'll leave them a name that they can be proud of all their lives. You'll soon feel better, and then you can do more beautiful things than ever before, sir.

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Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: [Last lines] I've got to have more steps. I need more steps... I've got to get higher... higher.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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