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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>
Lana Turner, Heddy Lamar, and Judy Garland get into the Ziegfeld Follies and promptly go to pot in this backstage soaper about the pitfalls of celebrity.
Lana is a saucy elevator operator who aspires to marry Jimmy Stewart--until a Ziegfeld talent scout sweeps her up. She soon turns into a fast-living, mean-tempered lush. Heddy accompanies violinist husband Philip Dorn to an audition; he doesn't get the job, but she gets snatched up to become a beauty queen. Offended by her admirers, Heddy's husband believes she is unfaithful and leaves her. Judy has worked her way up through the ranks of show business and is hired for her way with a song--but Ziegfeld doesn't want to the hire other half of her act, Judy's father Charles Winninger. How can she desert her father?
To say the actors are typecast is a gross understatement, and in truth Heddy is merely there for decoration and Judy tucked into the film for the occasional musical number. The film really belongs to Lana Turner, who--although somewhat wooden--has the most interesting role of the three, and to James Stewart, who like Lana is a good boy gone bad. Will Lana and Jimmy reform and get back together? Will Heddy be able to convince Philip that her love is true? Will Judy's father ever forgive her? Even though the movie is hokey and a bit overlong, it is still rather fun to watch--and such numbers as "Minnie From Trinidad" are lots of fun. But this is not one of MGM's great musicals by any stretch of the imagination, and it is pretty much for die-hard musical fans only.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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