The Great Ziegfeld (1936)

The Great Ziegfeld (1936)

A biography of the Broadway legend played by William Powell winning three Oscars (out of seven nominations) including Best Picture Seymour Felix’s Dance Direction and the first of consecutive Lead Actress Oscars for Luise Rainer (with The Good Earth (1937)) whom I thought overacted a bit in this so so musical. However the production numbers for the time (and to some degree even now) are spectacular. The trend which continues to this day by Oscar voters to select a run-of-the-mill musical over other quality candidates especially comedies began here. It also stars Myrna Loy as Billie Burke Frank Morgan in a humorous role as Ziegfeld’s competitor AND partner Virginia Bruce Reginald Owen and Nat Pendleton. Fanny Brice & Ray Bolger appear as themselves. Director Robert Leonard picked up his second and last Best Director nomination; William Anthony McGuire’s Original Story Cedric Gibbons’ (among others) Art Direction and William Gray’s Editing were also nominated.

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