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Glorifying the American Girl (1929)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 7 December 1929 (USA)
The rise of a showgirl, Gloria Hughes, culminating in a Ziegfeld extravaganza "Glorifying the American Girl".

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(from the story by), (from the story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Gloria Hughes
... Eddie Cantor - Appearance in Revue Scenes
... Helen Morgan - Appearance in Revue Scenes
... Rudy Vallee - Appearance in Revue Scenes
Dan Healy ... 'Miller'
Kaye Renard ... 'Mooney'
Edward Crandall ... Buddy
... Barbara (as Olive Shea)
Sarah Edwards ... Mrs. Hughes
Singing and Dancing Chorus of Seventy-Five Glorified Beauties ... Chorus Members
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Storyline

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 <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

With a galaxy of Broadway's famous stars- See how Broadway's darlings are glorified! (Print Ad-The Evening Tribune,((Providence, R.I.)) 5 December 1929) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 December 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Glorificação da Beleza  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Raymond Rohauer print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Color:

| (2-strip Technicolor) (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fanny Brice, Will Rogers and Marilyn Miller were scheduled to make cameo appearances in this film. But since Brice was appearing in a play by Ziegfeld rival David Belasco, Miller was under contract to Warner Bros. and Rogers under contract to Fox, they did not appear in the film. See more »


Soundtracks

A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody
(1919) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Sung by a chorus in the opening montage
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Enjoy the innocence of it all, as well as Eddy Cantor and Helen Morgan
30 January 2008 | by See all my reviews

We should encourage each other to smile indulgently at the antics and musical tastes of our great-grandparents. After all, our own great-grandchildren will soon enough be doing the same to us. In Glorifying the American Girl, the story of Gloria Hughes' ambition to be a musical star is appliquéd onto the Broadway extravaganza of a Florenz Ziegfeld show. We get songs, dances, fabulous costumes, show girls, ukulele plucking, comedy skits, a near-fatal accident, lechery, tearful farewells, love lost and love found and, of course, a big finale where Gloria's success is tempered only by the sadness of a love too long delayed, yet still made satisfying by the happiness of her two best friends. In other words, there's much to snicker about...just don't take your own all-too-soon-to-be-dated enthusiasms too seriously.

Briefly, Gloria (Mary Eaton) works with Buddy (Edward Crandall) and Barbara (Gloria Shea) at Heiman's Department store. Buddy plays piano while Gloria sings the latest songs so that customers will buy the sheet music. Barbara is a clerk. Buddy loves Gloria. Barbara loves Buddy. Gloria thinks she loves Buddy. When Danny Miller (Dan Healy), part of the song and dance team, Miller and Mooney, fires his latest Mooney at the company picnic, he spots Gloria dancing. Before long Gloria has left Heiman's and become the replacement Mooney. While Buddy pines for Gloria and Barbara pines for Buddy, Miller and Gloria travel the country with their act. They're spotted by a scout working for Florenz Ziegfeld and arrive in New York with big hopes and big dreams. It doesn't work out. But Gloria fights for a chance to show her stuff and lands a spot in the show. Danny, who is something of a lech as well as a good dancer, hangs around because of a contract he had Gloria sign. Now opening night approaches. But wait. Barbara has been hit by a taxi and is in critical condition. Buddy realizes he loves Barbara. Gloria goes on with the show. In a miracle of careless editing, Buddy and Barbara are in their seats, part of the happy, applauding audience as Gloria, learning at the last minute that Buddy and Barbara are wed, achieves fame.

What makes all this dated nonsense watchable is the innocence of the acting, the songs and dances, and, during the last third of the movie, the Ziegfeld Follies on stage. The Follies were lush, fabulous variety shows. We have an odd tableau that features nuns, a bishop, scantily clad girls and half naked chorus boys probably doing something religiously questionable; there's Helen Morgan sitting on a piano telling us another sad story in song about her man; here's Rudy Vallee singing to us that he's just a vagabond lover looking for the girl in his vagabond dreams; front and center are high-kicking chorines with none of the self- conscious angst of A Chorus Line; they just keep slapping the leather to the floor. And just before Gloria's big starring number, here's Eddy Cantor with an associate and a stooge doing a long comedy bit about a customer unfortunate enough to enter the tailor shop where Cantor works. While Vallee looks much like the self-satisfied, dirty old man he turned into, Helen Morgan is great. She could deliver a torch song like few before or since. And Eddie Cantor gives all us aging youngsters a chance to see what made him such a big star in vaudeville and on Broadway. The humor is ethnic (e.g., broad and Jewish), the timing is perfect and the routine keeps building. I don't know who his stooge was or the fellow who played Cantor's boss, but they were first-rate second bananas.

This movie was supposed to have had the Ziegfeld Follies sequences shot in Technicolor. Perhaps somewhere there is a VHS or DVD version that reflects this. Most copies I've heard of have just been slapped together as cheaply as possible with no color and, often, with a lot of chopping. In the version I have, Barbara's auto accident, Buddy's promise of love, their marriage and then their being seated in the audience while Gloria triumphs is cut and edited incomprehensibly. The movie is in the public domain and looks every bit of it. Perhaps not much of a loss, but it would have been good to have seen Morgan and Cantor under better circumstances.


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