The Great Ziegfeld

The Great Ziegfeld

Robert Z Leonard (1936)

168min
U Certificate
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Review

Our Score
This sumptuously mounted MGM musical biography of Broadway's most flamboyant showman is perhaps slightly too long for today's tastes, but it thrilled cinema-goers at the time and won the best film Oscar. Luise Rainer also won the first of two successive Academy Awards as best actress for her performance here as Ziegfeld's wife, Anna Held (she won the following year for The Good Earth), and her famous telephone scene is a lesson in screen acting. Suave William Powell is the Great Flo, and he reprised the role eight years later in Ziegfeld Follies. A real treat - just catch those girls descending that staircase to A Pretty Girl Is like a Melody.

Summary

Flo Ziegfeld's midway attraction isn't drawing flies. "How's business, Ziggy?" a rival taunts. This winner of three Academy Awards including Best Picture provides the career-chronicling answer. Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.'s business was good (with Broadway's legendary Follies and more), bad (including times the showman could scarcely rub two nickels together) and rarely lacking optimistic excess.

Cast & Crew

Florenz Ziegfeld William Powell
Anna Held Luise Rainer
Billie Burke Myrna Loy
Billings Frank Morgan
Sampston Reginald Owen
Sandow Nat Pendleton
Audrey Lane Virginia Bruce
Sidney Ernest Cossart
Joe Robert Greig
Sage Raymond Walburn
Director Robert Z Leonard
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-MayerAvailable on: DVD