Ziegfeld Follies (1945)

Ziegfeld Follies Poster

The late, great impresario Florenz Ziegfeld looks down from heaven and ordains a new revue in his grand old style.

General Overview
"Ziegfeld Follies" is a lavish American musical film released in 1945. This MGM production was developed by renowned manufacturer Arthur Freed and directed by numerous significant directors, consisting of Vincente Minnelli, Charles Walters, and Merrill Pye. The movie is pictured as a series of extravagant production revived by the late Broadway producer Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. from his divine afterlife. Each act features Persnicketrates and Lucius, the Foolish Mortals who personify and motivate human follies, while the spiritual figure of Ziegfeld enjoys from above.

Star-Studded Cast and Music
The film boasts an all-star cast consisting of Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Gene Kelly, Red Skelton, and many other popular stars of the 40s. A lot of the sequences are eliciting laughs, highlighting dramatic scenes, and showcasing fancy song and dance numbers. The music of the film, set up by Lennie Hayton and Conrad Salinger, presents classic tunes such as "A Great Lady Has An Interview", "The Babbitt and the Bromide" and "There's Beauty Everywhere".

Range of Segments
Unlike traditional movies with a direct story, "Ziegfeld Follies" is comprised of a collection of comedy spoofs, dance routines, and songs that basic audiences may have seen in a Ziegfeld stage show. The movie starts with William Powell reprising his role as Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., who imagines another of his well-known recklessness from his celestial residence. From there on, the performances are embeded in grandiose, elegant settings, with a series of stand-alone sections featuring the cream of MGM's crop.

Significant Segments
A few of the most memorable segments include an extravagant water ballet "Beauty" including Esther Williams; "This Heart of Mine" carrying out a fancy dance-duet by Astaire and Lucille Bremer; "Limehouse Blues" a dream ballet represent the imagination of a Chinese laundress by Astaire and Bremer; "The Babbit and The Bromide" a light comic dance duet performed by Astaire and Kelly; and a traditional spoof "When Television Comes" starred by Red Skelton.

Reception and Legacy
Upon its release, "Ziegfeld Follies" was consulted with combined evaluations. Critics typically praised the movie's visual grandeur, incredible musical numbers, and the performances of the star-studded cast but criticized it for the absence of a main story and overemphasis on design over compound. Despite the review, the film effectively made 2 Academy Award nominations-- for Best Art Direction and Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture.

In a broader point of view, "Ziegfeld Follies" is viewed as MGM's method of showcasing its stars and the studio's capacity for developing luxurious, aesthetically sensational musical numbers. It continues to be commemorated as an example of the timeless Hollywood musical genre and a testimony to the period's star power and the lavish style of the Ziegfeld stage shows. Although it might not offer a conventional narrative or deep character advancement, its extravagant presentation of spectacle and star efficiencies stay an enjoyable affair for traditional Hollywood and musical fans.

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