At the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, sideshow barker Flo Ziegfeld turns the tables on his more successful neighbor Billings, and steals his girlfriend to boot. This pattern is repeated throughout their lives, as Ziegfeld makes and loses many fortunes putting on ever bigger, more spectacular shows (sections of which appear in the film). French revue star Anna Held becomes his first wife, but it's not easy being married to the man who "glorified the American girl." Late in life, now married to Billie Burke, he seems to be all washed up, but...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Eugen Sandow is portrayed as a typically "dumb strongman". In real life, however, Sandow was highly intelligent and a superb businessman. Because he was among the first men to display his muscular body as a "work of art", he was considered to be "The Father of Bodybuilding", and this is what his gravestone reads today. Among his friends were Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Thomas A. Edison (who filmed him at the Black Maria Studios) and even King Edward VII. Sandow's career became bigger than ever after his association with Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.. He became very wealthy and famous because of his mail-order businesses, gyms, souvenir photographs, books and personal appearances. There is a mountain in Alaska, a railroad and a small town in Texas (near Austin) named after him. Unfortunately, the town no longer exists per the Texas Historical Society--the Alcoa Aluminum factory near Rockdale is named after the town, as it sits where the town once was. See more »
Ziegfeld is depicted as dying in New York City. He actually died of lung disease in Hollywood, California, a few days after moving there from a specialty hospital in New Mexico. See more »
Long but well worth hanging in there for. Luise Rainer gives an outstanding well-deserved Oscar winning performance as Anna Held. The first half of the movie which covers the period of Ziegfeld's marriage to Held is the better half of the movie. Great re-enactment of stage Follies productions. 9 out of 10.
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