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The Ice Follies of 1939 (1939)

Passed | | Drama, Music, Romance | 10 March 1939 (USA)
An ice skater jeopardizes her marriage when she becomes a movie star.

Director:

Reinhold Schünzel (as Reinhold Schunzel)

Writers:

Leonard Praskins (screen play), Florence Ryerson (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Crawford ... Mary McKay
James Stewart ... Larry Hall
Lew Ayres ... Eddie Burgess
Lewis Stone ... Douglas Tolliver Jr.
The International Ice Follies The International Ice Follies ... Ice Skating Troupe
Bess Ehrhardt ... Kitty Sherman
Roy Shipstad Roy Shipstad ... Roy Shipstad - Ice Follies Skater
Eddie Shipstad Eddie Shipstad ... Eddie Shipstad - Ice Follies Skater
Oscar Johnson Oscar Johnson ... Oscar Johnson - Ice Follies Skater
Lionel Stander ... Mort Hodges
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... Barney
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Storyline

Mary and Larry are are a modestly successful skating team. Shortly after their marriage, Mary gets a picture contract, while Larry is sitting at home, out of work. To prove that he can accomplish things on his own, he leaves Hollywood and convinces a former partner to put on an ice revue in Canada. The show is a huge success, but it makes it impossible for him to be with his wife, but the studio boss has a wonderful idea. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bigger Than the Biggest Ziegfeld show-ON ICE! (Print ad- Binghamton Press, ((Binghamton, NY)) 25 March 1939) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ice Follies See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor) (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was a flop at the box office, resulting in a loss to MGM of $343,000 ($6M in 2017) according to studio records. See more »

Goofs

Bess Ehrhardt is billed and introduced as 'Kitty Sherman', but an advertising placard in the movie uses her real name along with character names of some other actors. See more »

Quotes

Larry Hall: Well, what do you think of it, honey?
Mary McKay: It's lovely. It's beautiful. But it could have been even better with...
Larry Hall: With your close-up.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Houston Post Contest Winners Arrive in Los Angeles (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Loveland in the Wintertime
(1938) (uncredited)
Written by Cliff Friend and Dave Franklin
Written for the movie and possibly played instrumentally
See more »

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User Reviews

They should've kept the script on ice.
26 August 2002 | by Poseidon-3See all my reviews

This is one of those horrible films that sounds so bizarre it holds the promise of actually being good in a bad way when one finally finds it on television. It doesn't deliver on any level, though. The whole notion of Stewart and Crawford as ice skating stars is hilarious. But they are never really shown skating at any point in the film. What's left is a hackneyed, contrived plot about them falling in love and then separating to follow their careers. He tries to create the first Ice Follies and she (quite easily!) becomes a major film star. The actual Ice Follies troupe shows up in the middle of the film to do a few twirls and spins. The whole thing is capped by a 3-strip Technicolor finale featuring massive quantities of skaters and Joan in a humongous ball gown singing a forgettable song. It's so rare to see early Joan in color, yet she is given no close-ups. Joan was supposed to sing three songs in the film, but two of them were cut. She dons a black Hedy Lamarr-style wig for a lot of the film which gives her a distinctive, if not natural for her, look. Even though the film is ludicrous and trite, money WAS spent on it. The banquet scene in which Crawford gives a speech is lavish in it's decor and her clothes, though often bizarre, are also expensive. (One scene has her in a kooky art deco headdress which makes her look like a parking meter come to life.) This film is of note these days primarily because it's the film "Joan" is being made up for at the beginning of "Mommie Dearest". If not for that plug, it may have fallen into even greater obscurity than it already was. One of her hilarious recollections from the book Conversations with Joan Crawford was, "Christ! We all must have been out of our collective minds!" She describes how she and Stewart "skated around on our ankles". She tried to inject some flair and life into the film, but it was doomed on the page. Fortunately, "The Women" was on the horizon to keep her in good stead.


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