The Great Ziegfeld | Chicago Reader

The Great Ziegfeld

There's no irony in the title: the producers of this MGM biographical extravaganza really do think that Florenz Ziegfeld was one of the greatest individuals ever to walk the earth, and the picture has the length (176 minutes) and heft of a biblical epic. It's amazingly dull, even with William Powell in the lead and guest appearances by the likes of Ray Bolger and Fanny Brice, so of course it won the Best Picture Oscar for 1936. With Luise Rainer (who took home an Oscar, too, for her trembling portrayal of Anna Held), Frank Morgan, Reginald Owen, Myrna Loy, and Virginia Bruce; Robert Z. Leonard directed.

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