Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Florodora Girl (1930) Movie

In this 1930 movie, Daisy Dell (played by Marion Davies) is the last of the famous Florodora Girls not to be married. Daisy is awkward and shy until she meets and falls in love with Jack Vibart (Lawrence Gray). Jack falls for Daisy but his Mother persuades Daisy to stay away so that the wealthy family won't be disgraced. In this final reel (shot in two-tone Technicolor) Jack follows Daisy out onto the stage during a performance to propose marriage.

This clip shows the re-creation of the famous Act 2 sextette Tell Me Pretty Maiden, the only number from Florodora in the movie. The choreography shown is very close to genuine. The stage at New York's Casino Theater was quite shallow, which accounts for the straight lines and limited movement of the ensemble. Costumes are more Hollywood than the modest originals. The chorus number actually has a less famous second verse, which is not sung in the film, in which the girls quiz the boys. The verse will be included in our Discovery staging.

Marion Davies life story was very close to the life of a Florodora Girl, having been whisked out of the Ziegfeld Follies by William Randolph Hurst, who footed the bill for a number of her films (she's listed as Producer of The Florodora Girl).

The New York production of Florodora originally had a chorister named Daisy Green (not Dell) though its not clear whether she was the last to be whisked off the stage by a rich suitor. The cast list includes a character named "Daisy Chain" as one of the six English Girls.

Thanks to Neil Midkiff for a copy of the film.

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