Kathryn Grayson

Kathryn Grayson

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Ziegfeld Follies Review


Good
Who knew they made clip shows into movies? Ziegfeld Follies is two hours of skits, songs, dances, and jokes from the dying days of vaudeville, brought to us by a who's-who of yesteryear performers. The film opens, believe it or not, with a deceased Florenz Ziegfeld, looking down from heaven, dreaming about his perfect variety show. What follows is that dream, put to film.

With a tagline like "The Greatest Production Since The Birth Of Motion Pictures," you get a little something like the unmanageable monstrosity that Follies ultimately becomes. Structured as a series of unrelated vignettes, directed by different people (not to mention that screenwriting credit list), it's ultimately just a jumble of parts that add up to less than a whole movie.

Continue reading: Ziegfeld Follies Review

Kiss Me Kate Review


Good
Broadway stars perform Taming of the Shrew onstage -- and live it for real offstage. The theatrical antics are a bit forced and the musical numbers aren't the best in the history of musical cinema, but this still stands as an "important" film of its era, albeit a minor and relatively forgettable one.

Show Boat Review


Good
Widely regarded as a classic, the 1951 Technicolor bonanza that is Show Boat (based on the Broadway musical) has not aged well. The film starts as two riverboat performers (including the lovely show-stealing Ava Gardner) are forced to quit their jobs when it's discovered they have black ancestry somewhere down the line. Such "mixed blood" doesn't sit well with the locals, so replacements are hired, including the daughter of the "cap'n." Later they go broke. That's the gist: The film doesn't offer much more story, as its musical numbers (including the famous "Old Man River") take center stage. Too bad the racial politics just don't play the same as they did when Edna Ferber wrote the novel in 1926.

Continue reading: Show Boat Review

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