Glorifying the American Girl is a 1929 musical comedy film produced by Florenz Ziegfeld that highlights Ziegfeld Follies performers. The last third of the film (which was filmed in early Technicolor) is basically a Follies production, with cameo appearances by Rudy Vallee, Helen Morgan and Eddie Cantor.
The script for the film was written by J.P. McEvoy
and Millard Webb
and directed by John W. Harkrider
and Millard Webb. The songs were written by Irving Berlin
, Walter Donaldson
, Rudolf Friml
, James E. Hanley
, Larry Spier
and Dave Stamper
The plot involves a young woman (Mary Eaton) who wants to be in the Follies, but in the meantime is making ends meet by working at a department store's sheet music department, where she sings the latest hits. She is accompanied on piano by her childhood boyfriend (Edward Crandall), who is in love with her, despite her single-minded interest in her career. When a vaudeville performer (Dan Healy) asks her to join him as his new partner, she sees it as an attempt to make her dream come true. Upon arriving in New York City, our heroine finds out that her new partner is only interested in sleeping with her and makes this a condition of making her a star. Soon, however, she is discovered by a representative of Ziegfeld.
The movie contains brief shots of Noah Beery
, Irving Berlin
, Billie Burke
, Charles B. Dillingham
, Texas Guinan
, Otto Kahn
, Ring Lardner
of New York City Jimmy Walker
as themselves. There is also an uncredited, non-speaking scene with Johnny Weissmuller
wearing nothing but a fig leaf. The greater part of the final half of the film is a revue given over to a re-creation of a Follies production, replete with musical solos by Rudy Vallee
and Helen Morgan
and a comedy sketch with Eddie Cantor
and Louis Sorin
as a pair of Jewish tailors.
- This Pre-Code movie is notable for being the first talkie to use the word "damn." The word is used on numerous occasions by Mary Eaton and Eddie Cantor.
- The revue sequence contains virtual nudity and revealing costumes.
- Both Paramount and EMKA failed to renew the copyright and the film is now in the public domain.
- Mary Eaton as Gloria Hughes
- Dan Healy as Danny Miller
- Kaye Renard as Mooney, Danny's Partner
- Edward Crandall as Buddy Moore
- Gloria Shea as Barbara, Heimer's Dept. Store Clerk (as Olive Shea)
- Sarah Edwards as Mrs. Hughs, Gloria's Mom
Cast appearing as themselves in the Revue Scenes
A black-and-white print currently shown on television (which was cut down to 87 minutes) was made in the 1950s and has a number of sequences cut due to their Pre-Code content (nudity, etc.). The film was restored, to the length of 96 minutes, with the original Technicolor sequences, by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.