Ziegfeld Follies

  • Film
  • Drama
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Only partly directed by Minnelli, who took over from George Sidney (responsible for the opening girlie number with Lucille Ball) and suffered various meddlings. From his plushy celestial penthouse, Ziegfeld (Powell) dreams up a posthumous revue which proves predictably lavish and surprisingly garish. No plot, just thirteen items which drag in most of MGM's stars, include some horrendously unfunny sketches (Red Skelton's drunk act is the worst; Fanny Brice's famous 'Baby Snooks' sketch must be an acquired taste), and intermittently display the Minnelli touch (notably an operatic scene brilliantly conceived in black and white except for the diva's crimson dress). As so often, the honours are taken by Astaire's three numbers (including his only duet with Kelly, 'The Babbitt and the Bromide'), best of which is the gorgeous 'Limehouse Blues', danced with Lucille Bremer and partly shot on a foggy street set held over from The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Release details

Duration: 110 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Screenwriter: George White, William K Wells, Al Lewis, Robert Alton, Kay Thompson, Roger Edens, Irving Brecher
Cast: William Powell
Fred Astaire
Judy Garland
Lucille Ball
Lena Horne
Gene Kelly
Lucille Bremer
Esther Williams
Red Skelton
Fanny Brice
Edward Arnold
Victor Moore
Keenan Wynn
Feodor Chaliapin
Hume Cronyn
Kathryn Grayson
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