Review - The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
Delorted - wrote on 04/11/08
Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. (William Powell) was one of the most enterprising and influential people to ever put on a show. His life is documented in the Best Picture winning film, "The Great Ziegfeld."
I can't say I had ever heard of Ziegfeld before seeing this movie, but now that I have I'm amazed that I hadn't. He was a true rags-to-riches story, being that he went back and forth between the two so often. Apparently the film isn't 100% true to his life, but it's such a great film that it doesn't really matter.
I was a little confused with parts. There were two or three big show numbers that interrupted the film and took away some of the magic, but I think what director Robert Z. Leonard might have been doing is making the film itself feel like one of his shows, or at least he felt in order to understand Ziegfeld, you had to see his work. Whatever the case, the numbers are wonderfully done, probably just as good as the original Follies of Ziegfeld himself.
I was so glad to discover afterwards that Luise Rainer won Best Actress for her role as Anna Held (and incidentally, I was also surprised to see that, as of the writing of this review, she's still alive). She greatly deserved all honors for her acting. I was surprised though to find that Powell wasn't even nominated for his portrayal as the infamous producer. I thought he gave an equal performance to Rainer, but who knows why that so many years ago they wouldn't have nominated him.
“Ziegfeld” is a charming musical masterpiece of cinema that everybody can enjoy. And if you've never heard of him before, I'm sure the story of Flo's lavish life will be awe-inspiring.
Final Score: 8.6/10