Ziegfeld Follies
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLemuel Ayers
Roy Del Ruth
Robert Lewis
Vincente Minnelli
George Sidney
Written byCharles Walters
Produced byArthur Freed
Starring
CinematographyGeorge Folsey
Charles Rosher
Ray June (uncredited)
Edited byAlbert Akst
Music byRoger Edens
Lennie Hayton
Conrad Salinger
Harry Warren
Production
company
Distributed byLoew's, Inc.
Release date
  • August 13, 1945 (1945-08-13) (Boston)
  • July 15, 1946 (1946-07-15) (United States)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$3,403,000[1][2]
Box office$5,344,000[1]

Ziegfeld Follies is a 1945 American musical comedy film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, primarily directed by Vincente Minnelli, with segments directed by Lemuel Ayers, Roy Del Ruth, Robert Lewis, and George Sidney, the film's original director before Minnelli took over.[3] Other directors that are claimed to have made uncredited contributions to the film are Merrill Pye, Norman Taurog, and Charles Walters.[4][5] It stars many MGM leading talents, including Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, Lucille Bremer, Fanny Brice (the only member of the ensemble who was a star of the original Follies), Judy Garland, Kathryn Grayson, Lena Horne, Gene Kelly, James Melton, Victor Moore, William Powell, Red Skelton, and Esther Williams.

Producer Arthur Freed wanted to create a film along the lines of the Ziegfeld Follies Broadway shows, and so, the film is composed of a sequence of unrelated lavish musical numbers and comedy sketches. Filmed in 1944 and 1945,[6] it was released in 1946 to considerable critical and box-office success.

The film was entered into the 1947 Cannes Film Festival.[7]

Cast

Key songs/dance routines

Dance director was Robert Alton, Astaire's second-most-frequent choreographic collaborator after Hermes Pan. All of Astaire's numbers were directed by Vincente Minnelli. The movie's opening featured William Powell as Ziegfeld, who does the prologue.

Surviving outtake of introduction

An early concept was to have the film introduced by a stop motion animated puppet of Leo the Lion. Although cut before release, this outtake footage survives today.[9]

Reception

The New York Times: "The film's best numbers are a couple of comedy skits, especially one done by Red Skelton. Fanny Brice plays a Bronx hausfrau quite funnily. Judy Garland is also amusing as a movie queen giving an interview. Ziegfeld Follies is entertaining – and that's what it's meant to be!" (Bosley Crowther).

Newsweek: "At least three of the numbers would highlight any review on stage and screen. In A Great Lady has an Interview, Judy Garland, with six leading men, displays an unexpected flair for occupational satire. With Numbers Please Keenan Wynn demonstrates, once again, that he is one of Hollywood's foremost comedians. But the dance act for the archives is The Babbitt and the Bromide Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly trade taps and double-takes to a photo finish."[10]

Box office

According to MGM records, the film earned $3,569,000 in the US and Canada, and $1,775,000 elsewhere - but because of its large cost, it incurred a loss to the studio of $269,000.[1][11]

Accolades

1947 Cannes Film Festival Best Musical Comedy (Prix de la meilleure comédie musicale) Won[12]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

References

  1. ^ a b c "The Eddie Mannix Ledger". Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study((inconsistent citations)) Cite journal requires |journal= (help)CS1 maint: postscript (link).
  2. ^ Fred Stanley (Jan 9, 1944). "HOLLYWOOD 'TAKES': METRO PLANS BI-ANNUAL MOVIE EDITIONS OF 'ZIEGFELD FOLLIES' -- OTHER NOTES". New York Times. p. X3.
  3. ^ Levy, Emanuel (2009-04-14). Vincente Minnelli: Hollywood's Dark Dreamer. St. Martin's Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4668-0005-2.
  4. ^ Naremore, James; Naremore, Chancellors' Professor of English and Communication and Culture James (1993-05-28). The Films of Vincente Minnelli. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-38770-5.
  5. ^ "Ziegfeld Follies". Park Circus. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  6. ^ The Films of Judy Garland, Joe Morella and Edward Epstein, p. 132
  7. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Ziegfeld Follies". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
  8. ^ "Love" sung by Lena Horne (video)
  9. ^ Original stop motion puppet Leo the Lion introduction to "Ziegfeld Follies" (1946) on YouTube
  10. ^ The Films of Judy Garland, Joe Morella and Edward Epstein, p.134
  11. ^ See also "60 Top Grossers of 1946", Variety 8 January 1947 p8
  12. ^ Staff. "Ziegfeld Follies – Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  13. ^ "AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-13.

Further reading