The Goldwyn Follies (1938) - Comedy, Musical, Romance

Hohum Score

41

Bearable

Movie producer chooses a simple girl to be "Miss Humanity" and to critically evalute his movies from the point of view of the ordinary person. Hit song: "Love Walked In."

IMDB: 5.3
Director: George Marshall
Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Andrea Leeds
Length: 122 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 5 out of 27 found boring (18.51%)

One-line Reviews (15)

At nearly two hours, the final result is a mixed bag, ranging from entertaining to extremely dull.

It is, alas, despite the beauty of its pastel-toned Technicolor photography, often plain dull or even irritatingly banal.

This movie is full of "speciality" act: Edger Bergman and Charlie McCarthy manage to get out a few good jokes; The Ritz Brothers (a comedy group that makes the Three Stooges look subdued) throw in some "comedy" bits that will have you gaping (in disbelief)--their "pussy cat" song is truly a jaw-dropper; Romeo and Juliet is done as a ballet--with tap-dancing too; there are THREE musical numbers from "La Traviata" worked in; Phil Baker pops up as a seriously untalented accordionist and a LONG dull ballet is shoved in.

He could either hit them out of the park ("Whoopee", "Palmy Days", "The Kid From Spain", etc.), he could miss completely ("One Heavenly Night"), or he could come up with a film that really is a bit of a mess but enjoyable for the classic film lover.

There are so many things wrong with the movie (flat direction, thin script, over-zealous acting, ho-hum choreography, unfunny comics, a sissy hero, never-never-land sets — have you ever seen a hamburger stand so impossibly squeaky clean?

Unless you love ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy Charlie McCarthy, or more improbably the Ritz Brothers (Al, Harry, Jimmy) and their antics, you're unlikely to enjoy much of this movie; both acts are used as filler between the story and its musical performances which include Zorina's stunning Water-nymph ballet, which begins with her rising out of a pool of water and ends with her disappearing down into it.

Then there's a brief, contrived conflict to interrupt the natural flow of things and allow the director (of this film) to wedge in a few more scenes.

Worth Watching for a Few Acts .

We also get a genuinely stunning water-nymph ballet danced by Vera Zorina, choreographed by George Balanchine and with music by Vernon Duke.

I found Bergen and McCarthy gave the film its most enjoyable moments.

They're skit about them rowing in a boat in a pool was utterly pointless.

and they do have a funny routine about a cat, but in the end they do get a bit tiresome.

The opera sequence with HELEN JEPSON is well done--including a lovely version of "Siempre Libre"; EDGAR BERGEN and CHARLIE McCARTHY are pros in a few amusing sketches; KENNY BAKER does a professional job on songs like "Love Walked Right In"; VERA ZORINA adds some dancing magic and ANDREA LEEDS lends her bland presence to the role of a naive young girl asked to give ADOLPHE MENJOU pointers on what the public wants.

Adolph Menjou is cast as a Samuel Goldwyn like film producer who keeps making the most pretentious movies with his temperamental star (Vera Zorina) and searches for reality after a preview goes bad.

Summing up: Noteworthy only for the color cinematography and some of the talented bits, but the script is full of dull clichés, lifeless and unbelievable.