7.8/10
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61 user 30 critic

Footlight Parade (1933)

Chester Kent struggles against time, romance, and a rival's spy to produce spectacular live "prologues" for movie houses.

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(screen play), (screen play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Nan Prescott
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Bea Thorn
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Scotty Blair
...
Francis
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Silas Gould
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Mrs. Harriet Gould
...
Bowers
...
Vivian Rich
Gordon Westcott ...
Thompson
Arthur Hohl ...
Frazer
Renee Whitney ...
Cynthia Kent
Barbara Rogers ...
Gracie
...
Apolinaris
...
Joe Grant
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Storyline

Chester Kent produces musical comedies on the stage. With the beginning of the talkies era he changes to producing short musical prologues for movies. This is stressful to him, because he always needs new units and his rival is stealing his ideas. He can get an contract with a producer if he is able to stage in three days three new prologues. In spite of great problems, he does it. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Climaxing Warner Bros.' glittering parade of musicals! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

21 October 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A rivalda fénye  »

Box Office

Budget:

$703,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film that Guy Kibbee and Arthur Hohl takes James Cagney to see is The Telegraph Trail (1933). See more »

Goofs

The newspaper claims that Honeymoon Hotel has "400 rooms, 400 baths," and yet later we see all guests of each floor disappearing into a single bathroom on each floor. See more »

Quotes

Chester Kent: Sometimes I get the feeling you don't like anybody.
Nan Prescott: If you only knew.
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Soundtracks

One Step Ahead of My Shadow
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Irving Kahal
Played when Kent introduces Scotty to Mac
Performed by a rehearsing chorus line
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Depression Era Musical Masterpiece
23 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

Footlight Parade is among the best of the 1930's musical comedy extravaganzas. A snappy script and an all-star cast including Jimmy Cagney, the lovely Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, and Ruby Keeler make this film a cut above the rest. Directed and choreographed by the creative genius Busby Berkeley, this film will have you grinning from ear-to-ear from start to finish.

Busby, of course, is the undisputed master of the Hollywood musical with "Gold Diggers of 1933" and "42nd Street" to his credit (as Dance Director). Footlight Parade is graced by hundreds of scantily-clad chorus girls, a Berkeley trademark. The elaborate dance numbers were shot with only one camera and Busby was the first director to film close-ups of the dancers. His obsession with shapely legs and "rear-view" shots is amply demonstrated here. The overall effect is highly erotic and mesmerizing.

Our boy Jimmy Cagney plays Chester Kent, a producer of "prologues" or short musical stage productions that were performed in movie theaters to entertain the audience before the talkies were shown. He's surrounded by crooked partners, a corporate spy, and a gold-digging girlfriend. Although Cagney had a solid background in vaudeville, this was the first film in which he showed his dancing talents. Joan Blondell is memorable as Cagney's wise-cracking, lovestruck secretary. And Ruby Keeler is adorable, as always.

The film climaxes with three outstanding production numbers, "Honeymoon Hotel", "The Waterfall", and "Shanghai Lil", each one a masterpiece and not likely to be duplicated in today's Hollywood where so-called "special effects" have replaced creative cinematography.

Claudia's Bottom Line: Clever and erotic, with some of the best musical production numbers ever put on celluloid. A thoroughly enjoyable Depression era romp.


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