The director of this film, Irving Cumming, played on stage with the real Lillian Russell in a 1908 Broadway play called "Wildfire". Though he may have had some intimate knowledge of working with Russell as a young man, it is hardly reflected in this film biography. See more »
Henry Fonda is thrown into action by trying to halt two spirited horses charging down the street with an open carriage. This is the kind of incident that propels a story forward. Without it, there's no need for Fonda to be in the film.
You get a clear sense of who Lillian Russell is. She wants to sing on stage just like an actor wants to act in the theatre. She is consumed by her ambition and cannot see herself doing anything else.
I'm not particularly a fan of Don Ameche and I'm not sure if he contributes anything to this film.
It touches on the Suffragette Movement, but that's just a backdrop. It's not the story.
Overall, it plods along without any engagement in terms of story or character. Fonda fans would do well to stay away from this film.
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