7.8/10
3,539
63 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.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A wealthy composer rescues unemployed Broadway performers with a new play.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Warren William, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon
42nd Street (1933)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A director puts on what may be his last Broadway show and, at the last moment, a naive newcomer has to replace the star.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, George Brent
Dames (1934)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A multimillionaire decides to boycott "filthy" forms of entertainment such as Broadway shows.

Directors: Ray Enright, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Romantic antics abound among the guests at a luxury hotel, among them a stage director, an eccentric millionaire, and the daughter of a financial backer.

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Dick Powell, Adolphe Menjou, Gloria Stuart
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Stage-producer J.J. Hobart, is going to put on a new show, but he doesn't know that his two partners lost the money at the stock market. Insurance salesman Rosmer Peek falls in love with ex... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Glenda Farrell
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A Parisian tailor finds himself posing as a baron in order to collect a sizeable bill from an aristocrat, only to fall in love with an aloof young princess.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charles Ruggles
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane
Blonde Crazy (1931)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Adventures of a cocky con man and his glamorous accomplice.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Louis Calhern
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Ex-convict Danny Kean decides to become honest as a photographer for a paper. He falls in love with Patricia, the daughter of the policeman who arrested him. Mr Nolan, her father, doesn't ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: James Cagney, Ralph Bellamy, Patricia Ellis
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Chinese warlord and an engaged Christian missionary fall in love.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Nils Asther, Toshia Mori
Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

21 October 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A rivalda fénye  »

Box Office

Budget:

$703,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The actress who successfully auditions in the "Ah the Moon is Here" number is Gracie Barrie. She is not credited but a 1933 press release identifies her. See more »

Goofs

There is no way that the sets for the last three production numbers could have been built, tested and installed in the few hours they had between the idea and the show. None of the productions could have fit on the stage of a movie theater or on any known stage. The "By a Waterfall" number alone was bigger than the entire theater. See more »

Quotes

Chester Kent: Aw, talking pictures, it's just a fad.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Female (1933) See more »

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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.


45 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?