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Frank H. Wilson,
Gloria, Barabara and Buddy are working at the sheet music counter in a New York department store. On a trip of the whole store, Gloria, who's in love with Buddy, is spotted by vaudeville hoofer Miller, whom his partner Mooney, like her predecessors, has just left. Miller tours with Gloria and both are spotted by Ziegfeld's talent scouts, just before they were splitting up, leaving Gloria with a contract giving Miller a part of her earnings in the next few years. Gloria becomes the star of a new Ziegfeld production, but Barbara, who has been pining for buddy for quite a while, seems to have more luck with him.Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
The 2-strip Technicolor sequence, 897 feet in length, occurs in the second half of the film, with Mary Eaton and the Ziegfeld Chorus Girls performing "There Must Be Somebody Waiting for Me". This sequence, along with the rest of the film, was restored and preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in 1988. See more »
Yes, tastes have certainly changed since Ziegfeld's time. Driven by technological improvement and boredom with all things nice this kind of lavish entertainment has gradually been replaced with arty and cheap realism where producers compete to grind the audience's minds into the dirt. Give me honest fantasy anyday!
It's just a story about a woman who unwittingly throws her boyfriend away in her pursuit for fame as a dancer. She enters into a pact with the Devil in the form of a two bit hoofer – she makes it into a Ziegfeld show, he has 5 years contractual sponging off her ahead of him. There's plenty of singing and dancing before the main show, none of it very good but all of it wonderful to watch. The version I saw was in b&w throughout although it's pretty obvious which bits are meant to be in colour, and it ran 94 minutes suggesting it wasn't from the 1950's TV print. A lot of silent films have been restored and preserved but most early talkies have been left to rot away, the soundtrack here has partially returned to blast and crackle and the photography is uneven suggesting a patchwork quilt of available segments has been assembled over the years – so concentration is often needed! I hope the remastered version hasn't got these flaws - but at least every word was clearly enunciated for the benefit of the microphone box. Favourite bits: The ambulance weaving through the streets of New York; the one and only Helen Morgan torch singing What Wouldn't I Do For That Man; the dreamy There Must Be Someone Waiting For Me; the stately and sumptuous sets and costumes of the show itself; even Rudy Vallee singing Vagabond Dreams - rather dully to be sure. I've always liked Eddie Cantor – especially singing, but imho his Jewish tailors shop sketch went on a couple of minutes too long.
So, a nice unassuming film with some spectacular moments and some great songs – well worth watching for people like me who can enjoy it through the ravages of time for what it was: nothing heavy, just (fairly) innocent entertainment.
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