Glorifying the American Girl (1929) 720p

Movie Poster
Glorifying the American Girl (1929) bluray - Movie Poster
Genres:
Comedy | Drama
Resolution:
1280*1066
Size:
886.74M
Quality:
720p
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
Language:
English 2.0  
Run Time:
95 min
IMDB Rating:
5.8 / 10 
MPR:
Add Date:

Downloaded:
319
Seeds:
4
Peers:
2
Directors: Millard Webb [Director] ,


Movie Description:
Gloria, Barabara and Buddy are working at the sheet music counter in a New York department store. On a trip of the whole store, Gloria, who's in love with Buddy, is spotted by vaudeville hoofer Miller, whom his partner Mooney, like her predecessors, has just left. Miller tours with Gloria and both are spotted by Ziegfeld's talent scouts, just before they were splitting up, leaving Gloria with a contract giving Miller a part of her earnings in the next few years. Gloria becomes the star of a new Ziegfeld production, but Barbara, who has been pining for buddy for quite a while, seems to have more luck with him. —Stephan Eichenberg

Screenshots

  • Glorifying the American Girl (1929) bluray - Movie Scene 1
  • Glorifying the American Girl (1929) bluray - Movie Scene 2
  • Glorifying the American Girl (1929) bluray - Movie Scene 1

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Reviews

Forgotten Stars!

Let us rejoice in finally watching this legendary title now available to us in this beautifully restored Blu-Ray version--complete with those original Technicolor sequences that were shorn in the creaky and barely watchable version found in bargain basement bins from Alpha Video.This is like watching a time capsule of a time long gone from memory, nearly one hundred years ago. We watch and finally have an idea of what an original Florenz Ziegfeld Follies show might have looked like, with the simple but striking presentation of beautiful women dressed in fantastical costumes, accompanied by a full orchestra and interspersed with comedy and musical skits.The story revolves around a young girl who yearns to be a Broadway musical star. Mary Eaton, whose doomed life after making this movie would make a great drama in itself, finally achieves her goal but at great cost. She loses the only the man who really loves her and ends up at the end, literally alone on the stage, wearing a towering headpiece of feathers, as she spies her boyfriend and his new girlfriend sitting in the audience. The movie ends abruptly and the viewer can only watch, curious perhaps, as to what happened to our now famous Broadway sensation.The story line is grim to an extraordinary degree. Our heroine has a barracuda for a mother who takes all of her daughter's money and demands more. Our heroine is forced to sign a contract that gives her sleazy male partner half of what she makes in all future work--which means while she's working like a horse for her Broadway debut, he sits back, smoking a cigar, carousing with other chorines doing nothing with Mama nodding her acceptance.The Technicolor sequences, never seen before on video, are beautiful and striking. We even get to see a near naked Johnny Weissmuller as one of the Greek Gods, his near nudity causing this sequence to be deleted for television.But this movie also seemed cursed before it finally opened in theaters in 1930. By this time, audiences had grown sick of backstage musicals following the spectacular success of MGM's Oscar winning "Broadway Melody" released in 1929, the story revolving around a sister act--where one finds happiness when she finds her man, and the other plugging along in small-town vaudeville."Glorifying the American Girl" began as a great movie idea in 1927 and Louise Brooks was first considered as the heroine. But this initial attempt fell through and more versions followed which all collapsed. When this version was finally approved and work began, it was also the victim of bad scripts and technical problems and was shelved once again. Finally, this production that we now see was completed at the end of 1927-28, but the finished product was deemed too weak even by the legendary maestro himself, Florenz Ziegfeld, so more work was done. More scenes were added, more dropped and filming was torture for all because of the huge, bulky cameras that were hell to move and the still primitive use of microphones which often showed up in the finished scenes.By the time it entered theaters in 1930, this musical flopped big time because movie goers were sick of these back-stage dramas and this movie finally limped away and forgotten until it began showing up occasionally on television's late shows in the 1950s--a creaky antique, with missing scenes and almost impossible-to-watch black and white photography.The movie also terminated brutally the career of pretty little Mary Eaton. She was never seen again in movies although she had appeared earlier in the Marx Brothers comedy, "Coconuts" where she came across as stiff and akward with a shrill voice and dancing eyebrows.Her type of talent was considered obsolete in the brutal new world of "talkies" and she didn't photograph well all of which could have been fixed with a major studio and under less frenetic conditions. She ended up an alcoholic and committed suicide in the late thirties.

A Ziegfeld Show

It would take Busby Berkeley to take what Ziegfeld tried to do on stage to give it full expression on film. It would also take rival MGM studio to preserve the legacy of Florenz Ziegfeld with their films, The Great Ziegfeld, Ziegfeld Girl, and Ziegfeld Follies. But Paramount got the real deal in Glorifying The American Girl as the man himself made an appearance in this early talkie.

With a minor backstage plot about Mary Eaton who here and in real life epitomized the Ziegfeld Girl Paramount did this film where Eaton like Ruby Keeler in 42nd Street gets to become a star, the real Follies with real Ziegfeld performers like Eddie Cantor and Helen Morgan made appearances. Rudy Vallee did appear on Broadway as well, but it was for rival producer George White.

Other than the story line Glorifying The American Girl is like so many early talkie musicals just a filmed stage play. But this is a valuable historical record of what the man's fabled Follies must have been like for theater audiences.

Too bad Florenz Ziegfeld didn't live another decade, he died in 1932. Had he done so he might have made a mark in film. This film done at Paramount's Astoria Studio is a hint of what he could have accomplished.

Mary Eaton herself had a most tragic life. You might remember her as the young love interest in the Marx Brothers debut film, The Cocoanuts, also a photographed stage play. Like her fellow cast member Helen Morgan, Eaton fell pray to too much Prohibition booze and her health went South.

For the historically minded among us, Glorifying The American Girl is a valuable piece of cinema.

A major disappointment

The first hour of this movie is a complete waste of time. The usual 1930s Hollywood clichés about the young woman who dreams of making it big on Broadway.

The last half hour has four numbers of varied interest, including three star turns. For me, the best was Helen Morgan's forgettable new song. It sounds like an imitation of "Bill", her hit number from Showboat. It's interesting to watch and hear her put the number across, though, even if the song itself is forgettable.

Next is Rudy Vallee singing one of his big hits, "Vagabond Lover." Of mild historical interest, I guess. He's much better in later movies.

Eddie Cantor's number, a scene in a clothing store, goes on way too long and isn't funny. It's mean-spirited, actually.

And then there is the last 5 minutes of the movie, the big musical number supervised by Ziegfeld himself. It is very slow, and not impressive. Nothing at all like the magnificent finale in "The Great Ziegfeld" from 1939. I don't know how representative this is of a Ziegfeld show from the era. I suspect in the actual Follies shows the women wore less. I certainly hope they looked more comfortable in their costumes. Did they really wear such huge headpieces? All in all, a real disappointment of a movie.
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