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Ziegfeld and His FolliesA Biography of Broadway's Greatest Producer$
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Cynthia Brideson and Sara Brideson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813160887

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813160887.001.0001

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“I Can’t Do This Anymore”

“I Can’t Do This Anymore”

(p.363) 20 “I Can’t Do This Anymore”
Ziegfeld and His Follies

Cynthia Brideson

Sara Brideson

University Press of Kentucky

Ziegfeld enters into a partnership with Sam Goldwyn to create a film version of Whoopee with Eddie Cantor as the star. Ziegfeld enjoys certain aspects of filmmaking, especially director Busby Berkeley’s innovative style. Ziegfeld returns to New York with plans for a new show, Smiles, starring Marilyn Miller and Fred and Adele Astaire. The show should have been a hit, but Depression-era audiences find its old-fashioned Cinderella story line uninspired. At the dawn of the 1930s, the revue experiences a resurgence in popularity, with producers like Earl Carroll leading the trend. Ziegfeld decides to produce a new Follies, using nostalgia as its theme. Although the 1931 edition is a moderate success, it is clear Ziegfeld no longer reigns on Broadway. He becomes depressed when he and Burke are separated while she tours with a new play. Ziegfeld’s eccentricities become bizarre during this period; his phobias include red roses, dead flowers, and elephant figurines with their trunks pointing down. The chapter concludes with telegrams between Ziegfeld and Burke discussing Patricia’s care. At this point in Ziegfeld’s life, all he wants is for his family to be together again.

Keywords:   Sam Goldwyn, Will Rogers, Busby Berkeley, Fred and Adele Astaire, Earl Carroll, Marilyn Miller, Billie Burke

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