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Information

Year
1936
Runtime
176 min.
Director
Robert Z. Leonard
Genres
Drama, Romance, Biography, Musical
Rating *
6.8
Votes *
4,855
Checks
1,403
Favs
34
Dislikes
40
Favs/checks
2.4% (1:41)
Favs/dislikes
1:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. Siskoid's avatar

    Siskoid

    It's hard to get too mad at The Great Ziegfeld's problems because they're thematically consistent with the biopic subject's life. It's too long at nearly 3 hours? Yes, but all of Florenz Ziegfeld's shows were enormous white elephants (note the leitmotif, in fact) that, like this film, were big and costly. It lacks structure? Yes, but Ziegfeld was best known for his Follies, which had no plot at all. Myrna Loy is second-billed but doesn't show up into the third hour and has little screen time? Yes, but Ziggy was Broadway's P.T. Barnum and had that con man mentality. Loy's name got me watching, didn't it? She's not in it much, but her presence is still notable. It's essentially short-hand for "William Powell's true match", and you spend much of the film waiting for her to show up. Indeed, if there's a loose structure here, it's basically this: Ziegfeld finds a leading lady, is inspired to create a show around her, we see some of that show (usually great spectacle; warning: a bit of blackface too), and we move on to the next. And while the musical acts are good, none of the ladies hold a candle to Loy and we know it. So in a sense, the movie is about his journey to find that perfect someone (one should definitely contrast his visit home in the first reel with the Christmas scene in the last). When the Depression hits, we might also come to think of his career as a metaphor for the extravagance of the early 20th Century. Unfortunately, while the movie tries to do a lot, these different themes don't really support one another. So it coasts on Powell's charm (which is considerable), acting as a showcase for impressive show stoppers that nevertheless never seem to stop the show. 10 months 1 week ago
  2. Camille Deadpan's avatar

    Camille Deadpan

    Louise Reiner is absolutely beautiful in this!
    image

    I loved the dogs in one of the shows. They were really good sports.

    Also, if you watch "Original Promos" from the DVD, an unedited newsreel from the New York premiere, you see some really funny people.
    5 years 6 months ago
  3. saydin7's avatar

    saydin7

    quite good but overlong 6 years 11 months ago
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In 3 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #10 in Academy Award Best Pictures
    Academy Award Best Pictures's icon

    Academy Award Best Pictu…

    10
  2. This movie ranks #66 in Academy Award Best Picture Nominees
    Academy Award Best Picture Nominees's icon

    Academy Award Best Pictu…

    66
  3. This movie ranks #168 in Have You Seen? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films
    Have You Seen? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films's icon

    Have You Seen? A Persona…

    168
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