6.6/10
2,636
52 user 29 critic

Ziegfeld Follies (1945)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 8 April 1946 (USA)
The late, great impresario Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. looks down from Heaven and ordains a new revue in his grand old style.
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred Astaire ... Fred Astaire ('Here's to the Ladies') / Raffles ('This Heart of Mine') / Tai Long ('Limehouse Blues') / Gentleman ('The Babbit and the Bromide')
Lucille Ball ... Lucille Ball ('Here's to the Ladies')
Lucille Bremer ... Princess ('This Heart of Mine') / Moy Ling in 'Limehouse Blues')
Fanny Brice ... Norma Edelman ('A Sweepstakes Ticket')
Judy Garland ... The Star ('A Great Lady Has An Interview')
Kathryn Grayson ... Kathryn Grayson ('Beauty')
Lena Horne ... Lena Horne ('Love')
Gene Kelly ... Gentleman ('The Babbit and the Bromide')
James Melton ... Alfredo ('La Traviata')
Victor Moore ... Lawyer's Client ('Pay the Two Dollars')
Red Skelton ... J. Newton Numbskull ('When Television Comes')
Esther Williams ... Esther Williams ('A Water Ballet')
William Powell ... Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.
Edward Arnold ... Lawyer ('Pay the Two Dollars')
Marion Bell 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 April 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ziegfeld Follies of 1946 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,240,816 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,930,000, 31 December 1946
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Love" sung by Lena Horne was not actually a ghetto scene, though the definition of "ghetto" is just people of the same nationality or race inhabiting the same neighborhood, rather, it was a night club scene set in the Caribbean. Vivian Dandridge, sister of Dorothy Dandridge and daughter of Ruby Dandridge,is one of the patrons in the scene. See more »

Goofs

During the "A Great Lady Has An Interview," Judy Garland is continuously pushing her hair back out of her face during the interview portion of the scene. However, when the musical part begins her hair is firmly fixed up off of her face and stays that way until the end of the number when her dance moves have obviously loosened it up enough to start falling in her face again. See more »

Quotes

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

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

Connections

Featured in Great Performances: The Fred Astaire Songbook (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Bring on the Wonderful Men
Music by Roger Edens
Lyrics by Earl K. Brent
Sung by Virginia O'Brien
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 kev-22See 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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