MGM, 1946 (Color, 109 minutes, Production No. 1325)
In Hollywood where novelty is the spice of life, MGM's Ziegfeld Follies is the most novel of all - it's a musical WITHOUT a story! Flo Ziegfeld, the showman who made an American institution out of beautiful girls and
gave the world its most magnificent reviews now has his immortal "follies" brought to the screen as they were originally conceived by him. In addition to the Ziegfeld Girls, America's most glamorous beauties, the show has the greatest constellation of
star names ever to reach the screen.
[MGM press sheet]
Produced by: Arthur Freed
Directed by: Vincente Minnelli
Screenplay: Robert Alton, John Murray Anderson, Lemuel Ayers, Ralph Blane, Guy Bolton, Allen Boretz, Irving Brecher, Eddie Cantor, Erik Charell, Harry Crane, Roger Edens, Joseph Erons, David Freedman, Devery Freeman, Everett Freeman, E.Y. Harburg,
Lou Holtz, Cal Howard, Al Lewis, Robert Lewis, Max Liebman, Don Loper, Eugene Loring, Wilkie Mahoney, Hugh Martin, Jack McGowan, William Noble, James O'Hanlon, Samson Raphaelson, Philip Rapp, Bill Schorr, Joseph Schrank, Frank Sullivan, Kay Thompson,
Charles Walters and Edgar Allan Woolf
Music Director: Lennie Hayton
Songs by: and ;
Musical Adaptation: Roger Edens
Orchestration: Conrad Salinger, Wally Heglin
Vocal Arrangements: Kay Thompson
Dance Direction: Robert Alton
Puppet Sequence: William Ferrari
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Merrill Pye, Jack Martin Smith
Set Decorations: Edwin B. Willis
Associate: Marc Alper
Costume Supervision: Irene
Costumes Designed by:Helen Rose
Make-Up Created by: Jack Dawn
Hair Styles Created by: Sydney Guilaroff
Recording Director: Douglas Shearer
Directors of Photography: George Folsey, Charles Rosher
Photographed in Technicolor
Technicolor Color Director: Natalie Kalmus
Associate: Henri Jaffa
Film Editor: Albert Akst
Filmed: January 1944 - February 1945
("The Interview" filmed in July 1944 - Judy was 22 years old)
Released: April 1946
[0:09] Opening Scene (introduction)
... Florenz Ziegfeld
Bunin Puppets ... Themselves
[0:16] Here's to the Girls (musical number)
[0:24] A Water Ballet (musical number)
[0:27] Number Please (comedy skit)
[0:35] Traviata (musical number)
[0:38] Pay the Two Dollars (comedy skit)
... Special Officer
... Presiding Judge
[0:47] This Heart of Mine (musical skit)
... The Imposter
... The Princess
... The Duke
... The Duchess
... The Countess
... Retired Dyspeptic
... The Major
... The Lieutenant
... The Flunky
, , , , , , , , , ... The Girls
[0:59] A Sweepstakes Ticket (comedy skit)
... Telegraph Boy
[1:09] Love (musical number)
[1:13] When Television Comes (comedy skit)
[1:19] Limehouse Blues (musical number)
... Tai Long
... Moy Ling
... Chinese Gentleman
... Singer in Dive
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ... Ensemble
[1:33] A Great Lady Has "An Interview" (musical comedy skit)
... The Star
... The Butler
[1:43] The Babbitt and the Bromide (musical number)
[1:50] Beauty (musical number)
[0:00] Overture (played by Orchestra before film)
[0:02] Main Title (played by Orchestra behind titles)
[0:16] (sung by Fred Astaire and Chrous, danced by Cyd Charisse, Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, Chorus Girls)
[0:21] (Virginia O'Brien)
[0:24] Water Ballet (instrumental, swum by Esther Williams)
[0:35] (from La Traviata, by Verdi, sung and danced by James Melton, Marion Bell and Chorus)
[0:47] (sung by Fred Astaire and Chorus, danced by Fred Astaire, Lucille Bremer and Chorus)
[1:09] (sung by Lena Horne, danced by Lena Horne and Chorus)
[1:19] (sung by unidentified female soloist, instrumental ballet portion danced by Fred Astaire and Lucille Bremer. Includes interlude
of "The Old Kent Road" by unidentified sextet.)
[1:33] (aka "Madame Crematante," sung and danced by Judy Garland and Men's Chorus)
[1:43] (sung and danced by Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly)
[1:50] (sung by Kathryn Grayson, danced by the Ziegfeld Girls)
[cut] If Swing Goes, I Go Too (sung by Fred Astaire)
[cut] There's Beauty Everywhere (James Melton and the MGM Studio Chorus)
[cut] We Will Meet Again in Honolulu (James Melton)
[cut] Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away) (sung by Avon Long and the MGM Studio Chorus)
Production began in January 1944, and the 273-minute film was previewed at the Westwood Village Theater on November 1, 1944. Reaction was very mixed, so the film was withdrawn for major editing and retakes. The picture was
finally released on April 8, 1946 at a cost of over three million dollars.
Critical reviews were mixed, but the crowd-pleasers were Esther Williams' ballet, Skelton's drunk routine, Garland's send-up of the big star, and the unique "Limehouse Blues" number.
Judy's number "The Interview" was originally intended for Greer Garson. Garson declined to do the number, and it ended up becoming a spoof of her. It has since become a classic favorite of Garland fans.
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"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, The New York Times, 1946
"... At least three of the numbers would highlight any review on stage or screen. In 'A Great Lady Has an Interview,' Judy Garland, with six leading men, displays an unexpected flair for occupational satire."
- Newsweek, April 1, 1946
(all spoken by Judy in "The Interview")
"Gentlemen, you have caught me pitifully unprepared."
"...or should I do what I'd adore so, do my acting with my torso, and give all the natives a start?"
"I'd like to be a pinup girl, a cheesecake girl, too. And what is Ginger Rogers that I am not? And what has Betty Grable got that I haven't got?"
"Madame Crematante, gentlemen, will be a monumental, biographical tribute to a monumental, biographical woman..."
"...Whoop-dee-doodee, Madame Crematante did! For on a cold and frosty morn, the safety pin was born!"
(Judy's number is trimmed)