6.6/10
2,141
46 user 26 critic

Ziegfeld Follies (1945)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 8 April 1946 (USA)
The late, great impresario Florenz Ziegfeld looks down from heaven and ordains a new revue in his grand old style.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Fred Astaire ('Here's to the Ladies') / Raffles ('This Heart of Mine') / Tai Long ('Limehouse Blues') / Gentleman ('The Babbit and the Bromide')
...
Lucille Bremer ...
Princess ('This Heart of Mine') / Moy Ling in 'Limehouse Blues')
...
Norma Edelman ('A Sweepstakes Ticket')
...
The Star ('A Great Lady Has An Interview')
...
Kathryn Grayson ('Beauty')
...
...
Gentleman ('The Babbit and the Bromide')
James Melton ...
Alfredo ('La Traviata')
Victor Moore ...
Lawyer's Client ('Pay the Two Dollars')
...
J. Newton Numbskull ('When Television Comes')
...
...
...
Lawyer ('Pay the Two Dollars')
Marion Bell ...
Violetta ('La Traviata')
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Storyline

In heaven, showman Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. fondly recalls his first Broadway revue, the Ziegfeld Follies of 1907. Even from heaven, he is hoping that he can, for one last time, create that same magic by mounting one last follies. As he thinks about who he would like to appear in these follies, he is assisted in realizing his fantasy, at least in his own mind, by such luminaries as Fred Astaire, Edward Arnold, 'Lucille Ball', Marion Bell, Lucille Bremer, Fanny Brice, Cyd Charisse, Judy Garland, Kathryn Grayson, Lena Horne, Gene Kelly, James Melton, Victor Moore, Virginia O'Brien, Red Skelton, Esther Williams, Keenan Wynn, and, of course, a bevy of beautiful girls. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Greatest Production Since The Birth Of Motion Pictures! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 April 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ziegfeld Follies of 1944  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,240,816 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of only two films in which Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire danced together. The other was That's Entertainment, Part II (1976). See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the "This Heart of Mine" number, as Astaire and Bremer begin to dance back to the palace, dancers in the background (screen left) are clearly struggling to stabilize some of the antler-tree props. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.: Ah... Saturday, September twenty fifth. Another heavenly day. Ah, yes. Always a heavenly day.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Ziegfeld Follies credits are in alphabetical order. That is why "Bunin" comes before "Charisse" See more »

Connections

Referenced in It Happened in Brooklyn (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Wot Cher!
aka "Knock'd 'em in the Old Kent Road"
Music by Charles Ingle
Lyrics by Albert Chevalier
Performed by unidentified street mistrels in the Limehouse Blues segment
See more »

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User Reviews

Don't bother (and don't judge) unless you can see a good Technicolor print
2 October 2000 | by (Louisville, KY USA) – See all my reviews

No doubt the jaded postmodern cynical viewer will find plenty to pick apart in this fluff (facile metaphysics, etc.). That is their loss.

This is not one of the great MGM musicals, but at its best it does what great musicals do: it sweeps you along in a kaleidoscope of color, movement and sound. And because of these qualities this trifle IS art as surely as Citizen Kane or La Promesse are. Cinema is not just an art of--or forum for-- philosophy; it is an art of the color palette, and with The Ziegfeld Follies the technical forces of a great studio created a sometimes exquisite canvas to behold. Unfortunately, like many old films, the canvas is fading.

I first saw this film 20 years ago projected from an exceptional 16 millimeter print that brought out the full richness of the Technicolor cinematography. None of the video versions I've seen since have come close. The same is true for the 1949 John Ford western, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, which I saw many years ago in an unbelievably painterly 16mm Technicolor print. Prints of that film shown on the AMC network don't even come close to the richness of that print.

Its color alone is enough to make The Ziegfeld Follies visually entertaining for me, and that print I saw long ago convinces me that is one of the 10 or 20 most beautiful color films ever made. The merry go round scene (with Lucille Ball as I recall) in hot garish pink was particularly striking visually.

I contend that any film, even marginal or bad ones, made in the extinct and impossible to resurrect Technicolor process is worthy of seeing, because its very usage constitutes a lost art form in and of itself.

Like Ziegfeld Follies, middling films such as Kid Millions (1934), Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936), Jesse James (1939), Down Argentine Way (1940), The Gang's All Here (1943) and The Captain from Castile (1947) are worth seeing almost exclusively because of their amazing color schemes.

The biggest crack about "Tech," as cine buffs call it, is that it was not "realistic" color. Bogus line of reasoning, as no cinematic color process can ever be realistic in the sense of replicating human sight. OK maybe Roger Deakins came close in "Sid and Nancy." Admiring Ziegfeld Follies solely for its color may not be enough for you, but it's enough for me in our era of dreary cinematic color.


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