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Ziegfeld Girl (1941)
A smorgasbord of lovely women with some high drama.
My grandparents saw the original Ziegfeld Follies back in the old days and always raved about the showmanship and glamour that was demonstrated. Both the Great Ziegfeld from the mid-1930's and this film give some depth and insight into the days of the glorification of women. "You Stepped Out of A Dream" had more beautiful women in one production number than I have ever seen and probably will ever see. Oh, to have lived when the Ziegfeld shows were popular. And who can even begin to approach the beauty of Hedy Lamarr!
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Jean Hagen is the funniest actress ever as Lina Lamont!
This film has everything a fan of musicals, particularly those of the really great years, could ask for. Donald O'Connor is at his peak, Jean Hagen is remarkable as Lina Lamont, and Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds do a superb job in their parts. "Good Morning" by Donald, Gene and Debbie is a highlight. I can't begin to count how many times I've watched this film over the years. It is the greatest!
Champagne for Caesar (1950)
The most eclectic cast ever!
It has always amazed me what a wonderful job of casting was done on this film. Ronald Colman in a departure from his normal films, Celeste Holm as the vamp with a giggle/laugh that would keep anyone awake, Vincent Price, Art Linkletter and Barbara Britton doing what they each do so splendidly. This film was quite underrated originally, but true film buffs will enjoy the comedic plot and the great acting.
Cry 'Havoc' (1943)
A powerful drama at the time it came out!
Today this film is viewed as lackluster and stagey, but at the time it was released it told a powerful story that needed to be told. MGM always made good use of it's stable of fine supporting players, and this film did a remarkable job. Marsha Hunt, Frances Gifford, Diana Lewis, etc. all got a chance to emote along with the biggies ... Margaret Sullavan, Fay Bainter, Ann Sothern, etc. Other films that should be viewed in the same era include Bataan, So Proudly They Hail, Purple Heart, Wake Island, etc.