Watch The Great Ziegfeld
- 2 hr 56 min
The Great Ziegfeld is a 1936 biographical film that follows the life and career of the famous American Broadway producer, Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. The film stars William Powell as Ziegfeld, Myrna Loy as his love interest, and Luise Rainer as his first wife. The movie begins with Ziegfeld's early days, where he starts as a lowly entertainment promoter, but quickly rises to become a prominent Broadway producer. The film depicts his struggles to create some of the most iconic American stage productions, such as the Ziegfeld Follies, which showcased extravagant musical performances, featuring beautiful women in elaborate costumes. As the story progresses, we see Ziegfeld's business challenges, such as finding new talent, raising funds to finance his productions, and dealing with performers' constant demands. However, these challenges are only half the story, as we also get to explore his tumultuous personal life, filled with romantic relationships that often became entangled with his business dealings. Ziegfeld's first wife, Anna Held (played by Luise Rainer), becomes one of the central figures in the film. Anna is a well-known European stage performer who falls in love with Ziegfeld and helps him to establish himself in New York. Their love story is sweet, but not without complications as Anna struggles with Ziegfeld's infidelity and his tendency to prioritize work over their relationship. Aside from his affair with Anna Held, we also see Ziegfeld's blossoming romance with a performer named Billie Burke (played by Myrna Loy). Their relationship is shown through a series of scenes that are both charming and heartwarming. Ziegfeld is portrayed as a playboy who charms women with his wit and humor, but as the story progresses, we see a more complex figure. We see his vulnerabilities and fears, such as his concerns over losing his whole life's work and missing out on true love. The main highlight of the film is the elaborately staged musical sequences, which are captivating, especially for the era in which the movie was made. The Ziegfeld Follies themselves take center stage with their impressive costumes, choreography, and musical score. Many of the film's musical numbers were shot in Technicolor, providing a vivid visual spectacle that was a marvel at the time of its release. As the film progresses, Ziegfeld struggles to keep his business afloat, but his lavish productions always seem to keep him afloat. However, when the stock market crash of 1929 occurs, he is hit hard financially, and we see him try to keep his career, personal life, and finances afloat. Throughout it all, William Powell proves himself as an excellent actor by bringing the legendary producer to life with charm, depth, and nuance. Myrna Loy is also a standout performer, with her talent and beauty shining through every scene she is in. However, it is Luise Rainer who steals the show, delivering a stunning and heartbreaking performance as Anna Held. In conclusion, The Great Ziegfeld is a classic Hollywood biographical film that takes on the life story of one of the most prominent theatrical figures in American history. The film showcases impressive production design, great lead performances, and elaborate musical numbers that will keep you entertained for its substantial run time. It's a must-see for fans of classic cinema and anyone interested in the history of American theater.