Blu-Ray Review | Ziegfeld Follies | 1945
Setting out to recreate the grand, star-studded variety show feel of Ziegfeld's Follies, Ziegfeld Follies is a series of impressively mounted acts, from dance numbers to songs to comedy routines to Vaudeville acts, featuring the likes of Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Lucille Ball, Lena Horne, Esther Williams, Cyd Charisse, Red Skelton, and more.
There's something charmingly sincere about its nostalgic recreation of what is now essentially a lost artform, bringing some of Hollywood's most glittering stars together for a dazzling, carefree variety show right at the end of WWII. But its lack of overarching theme or cohesion makes it an often tough sit, and the Ziegfeld looking down from heaven framing device is just way too cutesy for its own good. There are certainly individual elements to enjoy here, and it looks gorgeous in its new Blu-Ray transfer from Warner Archive, but the scattershot nature of Ziegfeld Follies may test the patience of even the most ardent fan of classic Hollywood musicals.