Movie Fact #758 – May 21st, 2015:

For 1946’s “Ziegfeld Follies”, a film created along the lines of the “Ziegfeld Follies” Broadway shows so if therefore composed of a sequence of unrelated lavish musical numbers and comedy sketches, a lot of strange trivia questions flood this film that was filmed over a three year period from 1944-1946. For example, at the beginning of the “Bring On The Beautiful Girls” number, several older women are shown who, in actuality, had appeared in the original “Ziegfeld Follies” on stage. And it doesn’t stop there with the least interesting part being that the horse ridden by actress Lucille Ball is the Lone Ranger’s horse Silver. The most interesting is that the machine producing the bubbles for the finale was responsible for one of the greatest filming fiascoes in movie history.

On the first day of filming the finale, the gas produced by the bubbles caused director Vincente Minnelli’s cameraman to faint…on top of a forty foot lift. Minnelli struggled to stop his cameraman from falling but, while he did, the bubbles continued to pour from the machine to such an extent that the fire brigade was called to turn it off. Even worse was even with the machine under control, the gas from the bubbles was a constant hazard so actor James Melton filmed with a wet handkerchief in his mouth to protect himself!

I could go into even more of this strange film, which originally ran for 273 minutes before it was cut down, but I’m going to leave it up to you the audience to investigate further into this strange and lavish film that, while it took three years to make, was conceived by MGM in 1939 and didn’t start even planning until 1943 to make. There is a lot of stories I imagine for such a long and strange film production history. Have fun finding the rest!

Published in: on May 22, 2015 at 12:35 AM  Leave a Comment  

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