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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')
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Princess ('This Heart of Mine') / Moy Ling in 'Limehouse Blues')
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Norma Edelman ('A Sweepstakes Ticket')
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The Star ('A Great Lady Has An Interview')
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Kathryn Grayson ('Beauty')
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Gentleman ('The Babbit and the Bromide')
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Alfredo ('La Traviata')
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Lawyer's Client ('Pay the Two Dollars')
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J. Newton Numbskull ('When Television Comes')
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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:

Flashing...smashing SCREEN ENTERTAINMENT! DAZZLING IN ITS BEAUTY...PACKED WITH GLORIOUS Melodies! (original print media ad - many caps) 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 1946  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,240,816 (estimated)
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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

MGM gave this film a two-week roadshow test run at a famed legitimate showplace, the Colonial Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts, beginning August 13, 1945. A second test run began at the Nixon Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 28, 1945. $2.40 was the top ticket price for these engagements, and the film did great business according to the Boxoffice Magazine issue of September 1, 1945, with the advance sale for the Nixon Theatre "setting a new high." A third test run was also done at the Loew's New Rochelle Theatre per The New York Times of September 2, 1945. Disappointed by the largely unenthusiastic audience reaction to the test screenings, studio executives decided against quickly showing the movie nationwide. Changing the running order of the segments, restoring discarded sequences and/or replacing "There's Beauty Everywhere" with a new finale were considered by the Arthur Freed Unit. Hedda Hopper and The New York Times both reported that Busby Berkeley was going to direct a new finale for the picture, but this wasn't done. Ultimately, the movie would receive its Manhattan opening at the Capitol Theatre on March 22, 1946 and its wide release on April 8. 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

"Bunin's Puppets" are listed as cast members just above Cyd Charisse. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Slaying the Dragon (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Limehouse Blues
Music by Philip Braham
Lyrics by Douglas Furber
Sung by Harriet Lee
Danced by Fred Astaire, Lucille Bremer, chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Hollywood Revue of 1946
14 December 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The premise of this film is that Ziegfeld (with William Powell reprising his role) is in heaven thinking of his dream revue, with the rest of the movie just a playing out of that dream revue. I rather wonder about the direction, because this film managed to do what I've never seen done before - make William Powell appear hammy and amateurish in the opening moments as he plays Ziegfeld once again and then disappears for the rest of the film. Believe me, I say this as a huge fan of William Powell.

Thus there is no plot. It involves the big musical and comedy stars of MGM putting on a show of their various capabilities, and for all intents and purposes could be renamed "The Hollywood Revue of 1946" for those familiar with the original from 1929 which basically had the same purpose. Of course, technology has advanced considerably over the ensuing 17 years, but there are still some missteps. Basically, the musical numbers are good, but the comedy skits that punctuate them fall very flat and detract from the entire film. The highlight for me was seeing Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly perform together in a number. The musical numbers make this an above average film, but just barely.

It is most valuable because it shows MGM just as it begins to lose its grip as a leader in the film industry in the post-war era, and also because it reinforces what Buster Keaton always said - that MGM never "got" comedy.


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