End of an Era

Long before MGM put his story on the screen, Florenz Ziegfeld was dipping his toe into Hollywood. The first film he produced was 1917's The Land of Promise. Starring Billie Burke, the film is a straightforward story of farmers and romance. It's also, unfortunately, lost. Other films were takeoffs of his stage shows, such as Rio Rita or Whoopee.  Only … Continue reading End of an Era

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Three Ziegfeld Girls

While The Great Ziegfeld is a terrific movie, only a small percentage of it focused on the actual making of the Follies. We barely even got to see those famed stairs. Like Broadway, the Follies are a big subject, and in 1941, MGM revisited them in Ziegfeld Girl. Starring James Stewart, Judy Garland, Lana Turner, and Hedy Lamarr, … Continue reading Three Ziegfeld Girls

The Man Behind the Curtain

While Broadway is considered the pinnacle of a performer's career, in the early twentieth century the Ziegfeld Follies were the pinnacle of Broadway. These lavish shows featured comedy acts, music, and dancing. Most famously of all, there were women in strategically skimpy and unusual costumes walking down stairs as if descending from heaven. To be … Continue reading The Man Behind the Curtain