Thursday, June 08, 2006

1936 The Great Ziegfeld

Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy and Fanny Brice.

Watching these movies has always been planned as being more or less a solo exploit. Often these early movies are not memorable, and many people will not want to watch them. Further, I tend to watch them at odd times and occasions. I had the pleasure of company for this movie - but I think, she may have preferred any number of other options. I was amazed at Ho's persistence, but she herself stated that she kept watching "just to see if it got any better". Sadly, no.

One review I read of this movie called it a "lovable dinosaur", since movies like this are a distant memory. For that we can be all thankful. It certainly captured the heart and soul of the Zeigfeld musical numbers with spiraling staircases, featuring women in ridiculous costumes standing around looking suitably vapid. Perhaps my frustration at the self-indulgence of this pap - which probably encapsulates the style of Zeigfeld appropriately and somewhat accurately - overshadowed the work of the actors in portraying the story of this man's life.

The only thing I really enjoyed was the cameo by Fanny Brice. Having been a devotee of the movie "Funny Girl", which chronicles her life, I was interested to see the real woman after only knowing her through Barbra Streisand's re-telling. And she was wonderful. Shame this movie was about some Zeigfeld character......


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