Ziegfeld Follies

"Good"

Ziegfeld Follies Review


Who knew they made clip shows into movies? Ziegfeld Follies is two hours of skits, songs, dances, and jokes from the dying days of vaudeville, brought to us by a who's-who of yesteryear performers. The film opens, believe it or not, with a deceased Florenz Ziegfeld, looking down from heaven, dreaming about his perfect variety show. What follows is that dream, put to film.

With a tagline like "The Greatest Production Since The Birth Of Motion Pictures," you get a little something like the unmanageable monstrosity that Follies ultimately becomes. Structured as a series of unrelated vignettes, directed by different people (not to mention that screenwriting credit list), it's ultimately just a jumble of parts that add up to less than a whole movie.

Red Skelton does a "Guzzler's Gin" number. Esther Williams swims. Fred Astaire dances several times. You get the idea. But the veering between a slapstick comedy skit and a selection from an opera soon wear you down. What are we watching, exactly? It's a greatest hits parade from a bunch of stars with marquee names: Some at their prime, some fading, some still on the way up. Yet none of them probably counted Ziegfeld Follies among their favorite movies.

Some of the performances -- anything involving Astaire, typically -- are standouts, but just as many are utter duds. Fortunately, there's an easy way to deal with the kitschy comedy that hasn't aged well: Hitting skip on your remote control will zip you right to the next vignette.

The DVD features audio of two songs deleted from the film, vintage MGM shorts and cartoons, and a new retrospective featurette about the film.



Ziegfeld Follies

Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Monday 8th April 1946

Distributed by: MGM Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Lemuel Ayers, Roy Del Ruth, Robert Lewis, Eugene Loring, , ,

Producer:

Starring: as Flo Ziegfeld, as The Star in 'A Great Lady Has An Interview', as Herself, as Himself, Lucille Bremer as Princess, Fanny Brice as Norma, as Herself, Lena Horne as Herself, as Gentleman in 'The Babbit and the Bromide', James Melton as Alfredo in scene from 'La Traviata', as Lawyer's Client in 'Pay the Two Dollars', as J. Newton Numbskull in 'When Television Comes', as Herself, as Lawyer in 'Pay the Two Dollars', Marion Bell as Violetta in scene from 'La Traviata'

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