Film Seven: Glorifying the American Girl (1929)

Today I stumbled across Millard Webb’s ‘Glorifying the American Girl’ (1929), on a midday movie channel, and couldn’t help but admire its magical charm. Glorifying the American Girl acquired its title from Florenz Ziegfeld’s famous slogan, which aimed to reflect a self-consciously “classy” approach to his Follies, whom were challenged by rival producers Earl Carroll and George White. Both opposing producers featured their choruses with considerably less costuming and sexier dance moves.

The film loosely follows a naïve aspiring performer, Gloria, Mary Eaton, who heads to New York to fulfil her dreams, leaving behind her boyfriend, Buddy, Edward Crandall.

For majority of the plot the audience follows Gloria’s struggle within the industry, specifically with the dominating men whom attempt to control her. The audience is also introduced to a love interest growing between Buddy and Barbara, Olive Shea, back in Gloria’s hometown.

The film awkwardly diverts from this plot line into a “Follies Production” which presumes to take up the rest of the film, with little resolution to the relationships of the characters within the film. Despite the film’s romantic attempts at character depth, the film remained static and convoluted for a musical.


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