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Home » DVD Category: G » Great Ziegfeld, The

Great Ziegfeld, The (1936)

Starring: Luise Rainer, William Powell   [See details]
Directed by: Robert Z. Leonard
Runtime:2 hours and 50 minutes
MPAA rating:Rated NR
Genre(s): Drama, Musical
Synopsis:With lavish dance production numbers, a Best Picture winner. The story is the fictionalized musical biography of the career of the flamboyant show business impresario Florenz Ziegfeld (William Powell), including his relationships with wives, Anna (Luise Rainer) and Billie (Myrna Loy) and co-workers. The film shows his rise from a sideshow barker to his world-famous New York "Follies." Filled with memorable cameos of the stars who actually appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies (Fanny Brice, Ray Bolger, Ann Pennington, Harriet Hoctor, and others.) With huge sets, especially for "A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody," and other memorable songs including "Look For the Silver Lining," and "Rhapsody in Blue."
Catalog #:GU-X4084/HDVD-19
Price: $13.99
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Brief Cast Overview
Frank Morgan    ...    Jack Billings
Herman Bing    ...    Schutz
Luise Rainer    ...    Anna Held
Myrna Loy    ...    Billie Burke
Ray Bolger    ...    Himself
Reginald Owen    ...    Sampston
William Powell    ...    Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.

Technical Specification
Encoding: Region 0*  [See details]
Format:    Not available
Color: Not available
Edition: Import
Language: English
Sound: Not available
Subtitles: Chinese
*DVD will play on any regional DVD player

Film Review
There is probably no more patent proof of the New Yorker's film critic Pauline Kael's imbecilic snobbery than her devaluation of "The Great Ziegfeld." The cast of the film alone—William Powell, Myrna Loy,—virtually guarantees high expectations—ones that are fully upheld. Of course, it must be admitted that this bio pic does not cover all of legendary theatrical producer Ziegfeld's life; after all, this movie is not "Boogie Nights." What it does present is a dazzling, grandiose series of dance and song sequences that feature some of Broadway's best-loved songs, among them "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody", "You Gotta Pull Strings", "Wonderful You", as well as many others. Ray Bolger—of Wizard of Oz fame—merits special mention for his flabbergasting tap routine. The music and dance are outstanding throughout, as are the performances by William Powell—at his habitual best—, Frank Morgan as his jovial producer rival, and Louise Rainer, starring as Ziegfeld's wife in a memorable, sensitive role that earned her a well-deserved Oscar. More than a mere vehicle for dance and song, "The Great Ziegfeld" still manages to tell a human story, at once touching, funny, and titillating. An essential part of Hollywood's all-time great musicals. 

Rating:  (4.5 out of 5 stars)

- John E. Epson

Awards and Nominations
Academy Award, The® (USA):
Winner = Indicates winner

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