BN.com Gift Guide

Magnificent Doll

Overview

Director Frank Borzage and star Ginger Rogers both came acropper in the lavish but dull historical biopic Magnificent Doll. The usually ebullient Rogers seems encased in wax as Dolly Madison, first lady of the United States in the early 19th century. The story begins as young Washington socialite Dolly Payne, previously and unhappily wed to one John Todd (Horace McNally), can't make up her mind romantically between idealistic politician James Madison (Burgess Meredith) and firebrand Aaron Burr (David Niven). Burr...
See more details below
DVD
$22.88
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$24.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (DVD)
  • All (4) from $14.52   
  • New (4) from $14.52   

Overview

Director Frank Borzage and star Ginger Rogers both came acropper in the lavish but dull historical biopic Magnificent Doll. The usually ebullient Rogers seems encased in wax as Dolly Madison, first lady of the United States in the early 19th century. The story begins as young Washington socialite Dolly Payne, previously and unhappily wed to one John Todd (Horace McNally), can't make up her mind romantically between idealistic politician James Madison (Burgess Meredith) and firebrand Aaron Burr (David Niven). Burr solves that problem when he flees the country after killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel, leaving the field clear for Madison. What should have been the film's highlight, Dolly's rescue of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution during the 1812 burning of Washington, is treated as a throwaway. Told in flashback, the film ends just before Madison's ascendancy to the White House, with Dolly chastely charming the current chief executive Thomas Jefferson (Grandon Rhodes). Magnificent Doll is anything but .
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Any biography, or biographical picture for that matter, is going to rise or fall on the personality and life of the subject, which should mean that Magnificent Doll would rise to the top. After all, Dolly Madison is the epitome of a colorful character and lived during a period of time that was rife with action, much of which involved her both directly and indirectly. How, then, did Doll turn out to be a terribly dull and uninvolving film? Largely because the screenwriter stuck to tried and true Hollywood practice in making biopics and replaced the enticing, intriguing truth with a bowdlerized, fictionalized account that makes use of any cliché at hand. To make matters worse, writer Irving Stone has weighed Doll down with dialogue that is ponderous, arch and clumsy. Director Frank Borzage is quite off his form here and unable to inject any life into the story; indeed, he manages to make even the surefire sequence in which Dolly saves the nation's most cherished historic documents into something that blah and colorless. The talented Ginger Rogers is miscast in the title role, and David Niven overdoes his role. Only Burgess Meredith, in a quiet but commanding performance, brings interest to the story. The film has a fine look and some lovely costumes, but it's a bore.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/19/2014
  • UPC: 887090078108
  • Original Release: 1946
  • Rating:

  • Source: Olive Films
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:36:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 23,362

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ginger Rogers Dolly Payne Madison
David Niven Aaron Burr
Burgess Meredith James Madison
Horace (Stephen) McNally John Todd
Peggy Wood Mrs. Payne
Francis McDonald Barber Jenks
Robert H. Barrat Mr. Payne
Erville Alderson Darcy
Joe Forte Senator Ainsworth
Grandon Rhodes Thomas Jefferson
George Barrows Jedson
Emmett Vogan Mr. Gallentine
Frances Williams Amy
Henri Letondal Count D'Arignon
Lee Phelps Hatch, a Bettor
Ruth Lee Mrs. Gallentine
Vivien Oakland Mrs. Witherspoon
Garnett Marks Justice Drake
Ethan Laidlaw Sanders, a Soldier
Harland Tucker Ralston
Ferris Taylor Mr. Phillips
Eddy Waller Arthur, the Coachman
Pierre Watkin Harper
Stanley Price Man at Platform
John Sheehan Janitor
Larry Steers Lafayette
Pietro Sosso Mr. Anthony
Arthur Space Alexander Hamilton
Louis Austin Grace Phillips
Stanley Blystone Bailiff
Tom Coleman Mr. Carroll
Grace Cunard Woman with Baby
Jack Curtis Edmond
Harry Denny Mr. Calot
Dick Dickinson Man Who Falls
Mary Emery Woman
Sam Flint Waters
Jack George Gov. Stanley
Johnny Hines Dr. Ellis
Jack Ingram Lane, the Courier
Boyd Irwin Hathaway
Jerry Jerome Thomas
Victor Zimmerman Martin
Harlan Briggs Quinn
George Carleton Howard
Joseph Crehan Williams
Byron Foulger Servant
John Hamilton Mr. Witherspoon
Brandon Hurst Brown
Olaf Hytten Blennerhassett
Joe King Jailer
Larry Blake Charles
Al Hill Man
Technical Credits
Frank Borzage Director
Alexander Golitzen Production Designer
Travis Banton Costumes/Costume Designer
Russell A. Gausman Set Decoration/Design
Ted Kent Editor
Bruce Manning Producer
Ted Offenbecker Set Decoration/Design
Jack P. Pierce Makeup
Hans Salter Score Composer
Jack H. Skirball Producer
Irving Stone Original Story, Screenwriter
David Tamkin Musical Direction/Supervision
Joseph A. Valentine Cinematographer
Vera West Costumes/Costume Designer
Read More Show Less

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Magnificent Doll
1. Chapter I
2. Chapter II
3. Chapter III
4. Chapter IV
5. Chapter V
6. Chapter VI
7. Chapter VII
8. Chapter VIII
Read More Show Less

Menu

Disc #1 -- Magnificent Doll
   Play
   Chapters
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously