Saturday, March 17, 2012

Joyce in Ziegfeld Girl (1941)

Here's a screen shot of Edward Everett Horton and Paul Kelly flanking a surprised-looking Joyce in 1941's Ziegfeld Girl. This luxe MGM musical stars Judy Garland, Lana Turner and Hedy Lamarr as a trio of 1920s lovelies who meet different fates on their way down the Giant Staircase of Fame, when they become the lucky few hired as chorus girls in Flo Ziegfeld's famous Follies. It's quite a fun movie, albeit overlong and campy at times (especially the scenes with a too-young Turner as the responsibility-chucking, alcoholic Ziegfeld Girl). Garland fares the best as the perky, ambitious one whose well-intentioned yet clueless vaudeville hoofer dad (Charles Winninger) is holding her back. She also gets a good ballad to sing in "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows." Stone-faced Lamarr is mesmerizing, but lacks a good storyline. First-billed Jimmy Stewart also appears as Turner's sensible trucker boyfriend, but he seems distracted - perhaps by Turner's embarrassing scenery-chewing?

Joyce appears in the first five minutes as an auditioning chorus girl in the office of Ziegfeld associate Paul Kelly, with supporting star Edward Everett Horton looking on in amusement. The gauche Joyce doesn't appear to have what it takes to be a Ziegfeld Girl. However, since the movie doesn't make her fate too clear, I prefer to think that she's in the chorus somewhere wearing those fabulous Adrian clothes during the "Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody" number. That's what the movies are for, right?

Ziegfeld Girl was given a nice DVD treatment by Warner Home Video back in 2004. The disc includes a special introduction, a deleted musical number with Garland, and bonus shorts. Buy at here.

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