Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1945. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Screenplay by David Freedman, Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane. Cinematography by George J. Folsey, Charles Rosher. Produced by Arthur Freed. Music by Roger Edens, Lennie Hayton, Conrad Salinger. Production Design by Cedric Gibbons, Merrill Pye, Jack Martin Smith. Costume Design by Helen Rose. Film Editing by Albert Akst. Cannes Film Festival 1947.
Delightful collection of musical numbers that pay tribute to (or in some cases recreate) performances from the good old days of theatrical producer Florenz Ziegfled and his famous Follies. The great producer (William Powell, revisiting the same role he played in The Great Ziegfeld) is now dead and watching show business from the great green room in the sky. Through his reminiscences he talks about the big names of his business, whisking us from piece to piece, some extremely delightful and some a bit dull. Highlights are a beautiful dance number performed by Fred Astaire and Lucille Bremer and a comedy routine by actual Follies star Fanny Brice. The pinnacle of the film, however, is “The Great Lady Gives An Interview” starring Judy Garland as a hilarious jab at Greer Garson-type stars, discussing her plans to make a big-screen biopic of Madame Crematon, inventor of the safety pin (Garson had just played Marie Curie a few years earlier).