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Judy Garland, Hedy Lamar and Lana Turner--three of the most glamorous leading ladies of the Golden Age of Hollywood--star with Jimmy Stewart as young women each chosen for a life of fame on stage as a Ziegfeld Girl. Susan Gallagher (Academy Award winner Garland--The Wizard of Oz, A Star is Born) leaves her vaudevillian father to climb the ladder of stardom; Sheila Regan (Turner--The Postman Always Rings Twice) drops her loyal beau, Gilbert Young (Academy Award winner Stewart-- It's a Wonderful Life, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) for socialite Geoffrey Collins (Ian Hunter--Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), and Young resorts to bootlegging to earn the money to win Regan back; and the exotic Sandra Kolter (Lamar--Tortilla Flat, Samson and Delilah) nearly destroys her marriage with her struggling violinist husband (Philip Dorn--I Remember Mama). Now, as part of the most glamorous show ever staged, these ladies have attained their dreams ....]]>
Top Customer Reviews
That austerity measure is the primary reason this great musical feast was produced in the less-expensive, always-acceptable (and, at the time, "the norm") black-and-white rather than as a fantastic Technicolor feast. Musicals did not YET rule the lot of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer although they would, soon enough, keep that studio in the black.
Nevertheless, this movie is one of the most beautiful black-and-white musicals ever produced. As Leonard Maltin has said in his TV book of movie reviews, the MGM glitter has never shined more brightly.
Among the most notable things about this film is that it was a turning point in the career of Judy Garland. Here, for the first time, Judy goes from being a young girl living at home with her father to becoming an independent young woman who becomes a star of the Ziegfeld follies. From child to grownup in one movie. And that turning point hinged on the improbably set-up presentation of her singing audition in which her pop had her ham up "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" and, in a second chance, using her own gut instincts to sing the song better than anyone had sung it before...and better than anyone has sung it since.
Lana Turner was not yet a major MGM star, but she became one with this film in which she was given the full glamour treatment. She has a very meaty part as a beauty who gets her shot in the Ziegfeld follies.Read more ›
- Sheila Hale (Lana Turner), an elevator operator for a toney New York department store,
- Susan Gallagher (Judy Garland), the younger half of a father-daughter vaudeville act, and,
- Sondra Kolter (Hedy Lamarr), the wife of a would-be concert violinist.
This was MGM at its best when it came to musicals, though "Ziegfeld Girl" is not necessarily one of their better-known ones nor their strongest. As a Judy Garland fan, I must admit my bias toward the "Minnie from Trinidad" sequence as well as when Judy sings the classic "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" in an audition scene. But perhaps the best-known musical number in the entire film is "You Stepped Out of a Dream" with Tony Martin's superb vocals as well as Judy, Hedy & Lana among the scores of young women dressed in the astounding outfits created for this movie by the legendary designer Adrian.
"Ziegfeld Girl" also features a solid supporting cast including James Stewart as Sheila Hale's truck-driver fiance, Jackie Cooper as Sheila's brother, Charles Winninger as Susan Gallagher's father, Eve Arden as a wise-cracking veteran of the Follies, Paul Kelly as the no-nonsense stage manager, and Edward Everett Horton as the harried publicity director ("Mr. Ziegfeld's strong right arm").Read more ›
"Ziegfeld Girl" is a wonderful musical soap opera from start to finish. With a stellar cast headed by James Stewart, Judy Garland, Lana Turner, Hedy Lamarr, Tony Martin, Jackie Cooper, Eve Arden and so many more how could you go wrong? You can't! While this isn't "great" movie-making in the "The Wizard of Oz" or "Citizen Kane" sense it's still a terrific example of a Hollywood, or should I say Culver City, empire at its best. The only exception would be the finale of "Ziegfeld Girl" which encompasses interpolations from "The Great Ziegfeld". The original finale "We Must Have Music" wasn't considered grand enough and this was definitely a cost-cutting measure on Metro's part to look more opulent.
Some of the highlights are the musical numbers directed by Busby Berkeley including "You Stepped Out of a Dream" and "Minnie From Trinidad". Other highlights are Garland's audition sequence featuring "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows", Eve Arden's dry wit and Lana Turner's dramatic turn. She has the most interesting story of the three Ziegfeld Girls. Hedy Lamarr is stunning and Judy Garland was on the cusp of her glamour years at MGM. That would start with her next picture, "Life Begins For Andy Hardy" where she definitely had a new more sophisticated sexy look. She is very glamorous in "Minnie From Trinidad". Adrian's costuming in this movie is spectacular.
The DVD transfer is exceptional. While there are some age-related artifacts, overall the quality is wonderful.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing film, amazing costumes, amazing actors. A bit lengthy and the ending is so, so, but it is worth watching for the amazing production. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
Very entertaining. Lana Turner was a really good actress in this. Didn't know she was that good.Published 3 months ago by Mary S. Lee
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