6.6/10
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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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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:

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:

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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fanny Brice's material in this picture had originated on stage and radio. "The Sweepstakes Ticket" sketch, written by David Freedman, highlighted Miss Brice's final Broadway appearance in "Ziegfeld Follies of 1936." The stage show opened at the Winter Garden Theatre and ran from January 30 through May 9, 1936, plus a return engagement between September 14 and December 19, 1936. Fanny's other comedy scene in the picture, "Baby Snooks and the Burglar" (the footage deleted and now lost), had been performed on NBC's radio series "Good News of 1940." The on-air sketch, entitled "Bungling Burglars," had been broadcast on January 4, 1940, and featured Fanny as the precocious Snooks, with Hanley Stafford playing her exasperated Daddy. The pair would repeat their roles in the cut film sequence, which also featured B.S. Pully as the one burglar. The MGM revue marked Fanny's last film. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Here's to the Girls
Music by Roger Edens
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Sung by Fred Astaire, chorus
Danced by Cyd Charisse, Lucille Ball, chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Hollywood Revue of 1946
14 December 2014 | by calvinnmeSee 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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