Summary

In MGM's three-hour-plus The Great Ziegfeld, William Powell stars as the titular theatrical impresario, whose show business empire begins when he stage-manages a tour for legendary strongman Sandow (Nat Pendleton). With nary a penny in the bank, he charms European stage star Anna Held (Luise Rainer) to headline his "Follies", and later marries the luscious Ms. Held. From 1907 onward, Ziegfeld stages annual editions of Broadway's most fabulous revue, dedicated to "Glorifying the American Girl" but also giving ample time to develop the comic talents of Fanny Brice (played by herself), Will Rogers, Eddie Cantor and many others. Eventually, Ziegfeld abandons Ms. Held in favor of other beauties, setting the stage for the "telephone scene" which won Luise Rainer the first of her Oscars. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi