Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must ... See full summary »
Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must leave behind her ageing vaudevillian father; vulnerable Sheila, the working girl pursued both by a millionaire and by her loyal boyfriend from Flatbush; and the mysterious European beauty Sandra, whose concert violinist husband cannot endure the thought of their escaping from poverty by promenading her glamor in skimpy costumes. Written by
Michael Meigs <Michael.Meigs@dos.us-state.gov>
Sexual innuendo occurs several times. In the opening scenes with Shiela Regan (Lana Turner) as the elevator operator, she is describing to a friend her meeting Flo Ziegfeld on her elevator. She reports that he liked her ankles. When asked about her heels Shiela makes a gesture with her cupped hand indicating he liked "round heels" a reference to women who fall easily into bed. See more »
There are lots of comments using the word 'unusual' to describe the book's lack of spontaneous musical numbers. I think that can be forgiven, since the whole business is a backstage-style melodrama of the Ziegfeld dynasty. The film's predecessor "The Great Ziegfeld" was presented the same way: as a biography proper, but with integrated musical numbers presented as examples of the Ziegfeld shows. In this case, the players are exotic beauty Lamarr, in love with her own husband but briefly tempted with the spoils of showgirl success; working-girl Turner (in the showier, campier role of ambitious-girl-gone-bad); and Garland- the true, explosive talent of the group; note that she is not given the glamorous presentation of the other two, but presented as the vulnerable and heartbreaking singer that she always was. Her best moment- and the film's best scene- is the performance of "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" (brilliantly staged as an audition nearly wrecked by Garland's vaudeville dad, the song is a springboard to her maturity throughout the film). All of these plots progress fine, but much too slowly- and when it is all over it feels more like 3 hours instead of 2. (I also wish it had been filmed in color to better show off the spectacular costumes.) The ending of the film is fairly ambivalent; you really don't know the outcome of Lana Turner's character, and that's probably on purpose. The last spotlight is only on Garland, and even that has been achieved with a bit of trick photography from the earlier film "The Great Ziegfeld."
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