Saturday, March 14, 2015

42nd Street

42nd Street is a 1933 musical choreographed by Busby Berkeley and starring Warner Baxter, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, Ginger Rogers, Guy Kibbee, and Bebe Daniels. I had never seen this movie before. It's fun to watch, even though I find plenty of sadness woven through the plot.

Part 1 via Daily Motion:

Part 2 via Daily Motion: calls it "a refreshing film that changed the film musical forever and saved Warner Bros. studios from bankruptcy, helping it grow into a major studio." Weird Wild Realm says, "It was undoubtedly old-hat even in 1933. But it's a damned nice old hat & just about as good as movies get, with super cinematography, extraordinary choreography, & songs by Harry Warren & Al Dubbin that are a timeless delight."

The Examiner says it's "definitely worth your time." 366 Weird Movies says, "What Berkeley did for the musical is the equivalent of what Hitchcock did for the thriller and what Lucas did for science fiction."

DVD Talk says,
42nd Street surely cannot be the first puttin'-on-a-show backstage Broadway spectacle but it's the one that's become known as the archetype. Gold-digging chorus girls, goggle-eyed sugar daddies, old pros and young hopefuls are all here, as is the notion that the eager understudy might get her big break, should the star be so obliging as to break her leg. The cornball plot is compelling because the 'young and healthy' cast believes in it so strongly; Al Dubin and Harry Warren's songs have an aggressive, Depression-era immediacy.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating of 95%. TCM has an overview.


  1. 42nd street was a song by Al Jolson and Ruby Keeler was his wife, I wonder how how much this had to do with her getting the role in the movie.

    1. Wikipedia says this was her first film, but it doesn't mention Jolson. I looked up Jolson, though, and he was only 64 when he died. I find myself struck by people who accomplished so much, and 64 sounds a lot younger to me now than it used to.