42nd Street | Chicago Reader

42nd Street

Rated NR 89 minutes 1933

This 1933 film is the best known of the Warner Brothers Depression-era musicals, though it doesn't compare in dash and extravagance to later entries in the cycle. It's often cited as the primary source of the backstage musical cliches (bratty leading lady breaks her ankle, chorus girl goes on and becomes a star), but there's evidence to suggest that their use here was already self-conscious and campy (the film is a partial remake of a 1929 picture, On With the Show). Lloyd Bacon directed; the choreography, of course, is by Busby Berkeley. With Ruby Keeler, Bebe Daniels, Warner Baxter, George Brent, Dick Powell, and Ginger Rogers.

Film Credits

Director: Lloyd Bacon

Writer: Bradford Ropes, Rian James, James Seymour and Whitney Bolton

Producer: Darryl F. Zanuck

Cast: Ruby Keeler, Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, George Brent, Dick Powell, Guy Kibbee, Una Merkel, Ginger Rogers, Ned Sparks and George E. Stone

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