Glorifying The American Girl

89. GLORIFYING THE AMERICAN GIRL (1929-usA). With EDDIE CANTOR, HELLEN MORGAN, RUDY VALLEE, MARY EATON, DAN HEALY, KAYE RENARD Featuring “a singing a dancing chorus Of seventy-five glorified beauties.” Music by IRVING BERLIN. Ballet ensembles by T. SHAWN. Production personally supervised by FLORENZ ZIEGFELD. Reportedly the only movie which Ziegfeld made a significant contribution, this vintage “backstage” musical displays the mas showman’s unmistakable touches: lavish production numbers, sketches with the biggest performers the day, and all those “glorified beauties” wearing such extravagant costumes and enormous headpieces you wonder how they manage to move at all. The paper-thin plot concerns a young singer/dancer with dreams Of starring in the Follies, the sleazy dancer who gets her into the big time and tries to exploit (sexually as well as financially) and the nice boy she leaves behind. The heroine finally achieves stardom in a Ziegfeld Follies-like production Of suitably gargantuan proportions. The show, and the film, is highlighted by Rudy Vallee’s “Vagabond Lover,” Eddie Cantor in his famous “Cheap Charlie” skit about two obnoxiously aggressive tailors, and, best Of all, Helen Morgan’s immortal torch song, “What Wouldn’t I Do for That Man!” (She had introduced the number in “Applause,” where it was continues interrupted by dialogue; here it gets the full-blown treatment, with the sultry singer in her familiar pose atop a white piano). Brief glimpses Of celebrities supposedly arriving at the show – RING LARDNI, TEXAS GUINAN, MAYOR JIMMY WALKER, NOAH BEERY, ADOLPH ZUKOR and FLORENZ ZIEGFEI himself, with his wife BILLIE BURKE. This movie will magically transport you back to 1929 (when more musicals were made than in any year since) – to that glorious “All Talking, All Singing, All Dancing” entertainment 95 minutes. Musical