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Both Marion Davies and Billie Dove were one-time Ziegfeld chorus girls, so they became a natural fit as pals and romantic rivals when Davies' chum, two-time Academy AwardŽ winner* Frances Marion (with input on dialogue from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes author Anita Loos), fashioned Davies' stories of bygone days into the spicy and reality-laced script for Blondie of the Follies. Practical working girl Blondie McClune (Davies) has her head turned by the world of her showgirl buddy Lottie (Dove) - and by Lottie's suave suitor Larry (Robert Montgomery). Despite the misgivings of her "old-time" father (a sweetly touching James Gleason), she joins the follies and strives to keep her friendships with Lottie and Larry on the level, but her conflicting emotions and ambitions won't let her. Director Edmund Goulding deftly balances mirth and heartache, even poking momentary fun at his recent Grand Hotel, with Davies and Jimmy Durante riffing on Garbo and Barrymore. ZaSu Pitts and Douglass Dumbrille also star in this swank and unexpectedly moving Follies.

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WAA596936 Blondie of the Follies DVD (1932/Marion Davies) $21.99