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The Great Ziegfeld (1936)

Music | 176 minutes
3,00 51 votes

Genre: Music

Duration: 176 minuten

Country: United States

Directed by: Robert Z. Leonard

Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy and Luise Rainer

IMDb score: 6,6 (9.023)

Releasedate: 8 April 1936

The Great Ziegfeld plot

"The Sensation of the Century!"

During the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, Flo Ziegfeld steals the girlfriend of his successful neighbor Billings. This continues to repeat itself throughout their lives. French revue star Anna Held becomes his first wife, but it's not easy for her to be married to him.

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

Florenz 'Flo' Ziegfeld Jr.

Billie Burke

Fannie Brice

Ray Bolger

Dr. Ziegfeld

Reviews & comments


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avatar van Spetie


  • 38582 messages
  • 5661 votes

I'll admit it right away, I was pretty skeptical about this. A musical film from the era (1930-1938) in which I have never really been able to appreciate films from this genre positively. And if The Great Ziegfeld also lasts another three hours, it seems to be a very hopeless mission. The only reason I saw this is because it won an Oscar at the time, and I want to see all the Oscar winners.

Although The Great Ziegfeld is far from good, I was still not too bad. That is mainly due to leading actor William Powell, who gives a nice performance and what I find a pleasant actor to watch. He also occasionally provides the necessary humor, so that it remains watchable. Around that, the story is not always exciting and especially the annoying musical scenes are mediocre, take you unnecessarily out of the story and also ensure that it all takes much longer than necessary. Although I must say that there are not very many of them.

Ziegfeld's life story is still fairly nicely told. Funny that they add a little extra here and there, which makes it all just a bit more fun. But even then it's not a super movie and I can't really think why this won an Oscar at the time, although it does fit in this list. It's all that typical. Reasonable, but otherwise not very memorable.


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avatar van BBarbie


  • 12893 messages
  • 7674 votes

The extravagant show numbers and Luise Rainer's rendition, for which she received a much-criticized Oscar, are by far the best parts of this film, which is loosely based on the rollercoaster career of Broadway producer Florence Ziegfeld. Director Leonard has paid particular attention to the shows, which look spectacular, but at the expense of the story, which is rather sloppy and rather jumpy. The interplay between William Powell and Myrna Loy is unfortunately less sparkling than in the well-known Thin Man films, because the humor is virtually absent.

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avatar van Bobbejaantje


  • 1871 messages
  • 1847 votes

Films come into their own on the silver screen and that is especially true for this spectacular film. The three-minute overture, without any movement or titles on the screen, indicates that this is a film from a completely different time, where, for example, people still took their time and the attention span of the average person was much higher than now. The story contains enough drama and humor to hold the viewer's attention, although it is of course mainly a coat rack for the show numbers, with various degrees of spectacle. The film was shot in black and white, perhaps as a reference to the past era (1893 - ca 1930), and I personally thought that was a bit of a shame because a technicolor treatment would have only enhanced the spectacle.

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