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 ...
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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>
Unless you are a largely uncritical fan of Lamarr, Garland or Turner or of musicals in general, this is not a good film to start with; unlike the zippy, racy, fast-paced films Busby Berkeley did with Warner Brothers in the early 30's (42nd Street, the Gold Diggers films),or the dazzling Technicolor Fox Musicals of the 1940's. this MGM effort suffers from an excess of melodrama and not enough music. MGM ruled musicals in the 1950's with major films like Singin' In Rain and The Bandwagon.
Fortunately, Ziegfeld Girl does feature a bang-up, all-out, dazzling fur and feathers number "You Stepped Out Of A Dream" worth the more than two-hour drudgery of largely humorless soap opera, and it's sung by the late Tony Martin, featuring Hedy Lamarr as dazzling as she was ever going to look; unfortunately this number is early in the film, and there's a great deal of angst with Lana Turner hitting the skids as her truck-driving boyfriend (a miscast Jimmy Stewart, looking more than a little uncomfortable), mopes around the edges until she sobers up; This is not a bad film, merely, as frequently happens with MGM, in need of some judicious cutting; Garland is great fun in the "Minnie From Trinidad" number with dancers dangling dozens of bananas as arm decor, and Dan Dailey impressive as a deadbeat boxer; one wishes for more Eve Arden, as always, and one also wishes for the dazzling color of Ziegfeld Follies a few years later.
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