At the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, sideshow barker Flo Ziegfeld turns the tables on his more successful neighbor Billings, and steals his girlfriend to boot. This pattern is repeated throughout their lives, as Ziegfeld makes and loses many fortunes putting on ever bigger, more spectacular shows (sections of which appear in the film). French revue star Anna Held becomes his first wife, but it's not easy being married to the man who "glorified the American girl." Late in life, now married to Billie Burke, he seems to be all washed up, but...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the footnotes of their American Film Institute's Feature Films, 1931-1940, Catalog mistakenly lists Mary Lou, an adult, played by Jean Chatburn, and Sally Manners, a Ziegfeld star, played by Rosina Lawrence, as the same person. See more »
One of the newspapers announcing the upcoming bout between Sandow and the lion is dated April 20. The newspaper shown after the match, decrying it as a fraud, is dated April 17. See more »
If I can give Belasco four dollars for silk stockings made of cotton, I can give Ziegfeld a little more for a mink coat made of skunk.
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The opening credits display the title of the film and the names of the stars in marquee lights, as they would be on Broadway. See more »
The DVD release runs 185 minutes, and includes the overture, entr'acte and exit music, as presented in the original "road show" version of the film. See more »
This is one of the best Hollywood bios I've ever seen. The pacing is fast for a movie from 1936 and William Powell and especially Louise Rainer are fantastic. Filmed in one take, the "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" musical number is incredible. One also gets to see Fanny Brice in a rare film appearance, and if you remember Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl you'll see how close Streisand got to perfectly imitating Brice. Also, Ray Bolger does an incredible dance routine which shows off his talent to greater effect then his performance as the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. He's unbelievable. My only complaint, and this is about the DVD, is that Warner should have made the effort of restoring this amazing picture. Most of it looks pretty good but there are many sections with scratches and speckles.
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