IMDb > Footlight Parade (1933)
Footlight Parade
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Footlight Parade (1933) More at IMDbPro »

Videos (see all 2)
Footlight Parade -- James Cagney stars a fledgling producer who finds himself at odds with his workers, financiers and his greedy ex-wife when he tries to produce live musicals for movie-going audiences.
Footlight Parade -- Trailer for this musical extravaganza

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   3,076 votes »
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Down 28% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Manuel Seff (screen play) and
James Seymour (screen play)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Footlight Parade on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 October 1933 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Climaxing Warner Bros.' glittering parade of musicals! See more »
Plot:
Chester Kent struggles against time, romance, and a rival's spy to produce spectacular live "prologues" for movie houses. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(23 articles)
User Reviews:
This is New Jersey, not Hollywood See more (56 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Cagney ... Chester Kent

Joan Blondell ... Nan

Ruby Keeler ... Bea

Dick Powell ... Scotty
Frank McHugh ... Francis
Guy Kibbee ... Gould
Ruth Donnelly ... Mrs, Gould

Hugh Herbert ... Bowers
Claire Dodd ... Vivian
Gordon Westcott ... Thompson
Arthur Hohl ... Frazer
Renee Whitney ... Cynthia Kent
Barbara Rogers ... Gracie
Paul Porcasi ... Apolinaris
Philip Faversham ... Joe
Herman Bing ... Fralick
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Avis Adair ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Loretta Andrews ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Monica Bannister ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Bonnie Bannon ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Gracie Barrie ... Third auditioning singer (uncredited)

Billy Barty ... Mouse / Little Boy (uncredited)
Eleanor Bayley ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)

Busby Berkeley ... Drugstore Clerk (uncredited)
Lynn Browning ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Margaret Carthew ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Title-Thinker-Upper (uncredited)
George Chandler ... Druggist (uncredited)
Jimmy Conlin ... Uncle in 'Honeymoon Hotel' (uncredited)
Virginia Dabney ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Mary Dees ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Mildred Dixon ... Maid in 'Honeymoon Hotel' (uncredited)
Maxine Doyle ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Claudia Drake ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Shirley Dunstead ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Marlo Dwyer ... Chorus Girl (unconfirmed) (uncredited)
Pat Fara ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Patsy Farnum ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Patricia Farr ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Otto Fries ... Bartender in 'Shanghai Lil' (uncredited)
June Gittelson ... Myrtle (uncredited)
June Glory ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Mary Gordon ... Wardrobe woman on bus (uncredited)
Betty Jane Graham ... Sister in 'Honeymoon Hotel' (uncredited)
Roger Gray ... Sailor Pal in 'Shanghai Lil' (uncredited)
Peggy Grove ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Ann Hovey ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
John Hyams ... Father in 'Honeymoon Hotel' (uncredited)
Amo Ingraham ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Ann Ingraham ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
William Irving ... Doorman in 'Honeymoon Hotel' (uncredited)
Fred Kelsey ... House Detective in 'Honeymoon Hotel' (uncredited)
Donna La Barr ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Bobbie La Salle ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Adele Lacy ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Lois Lacy ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)

Dorothy Lamour ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Lillian Lawrence ... Aunt Matilda in 'Honeymoon Hotel' (uncredited)
Lorena Layson ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Cynthia Lindsay ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Lois Lindsay ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Mae Madison ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Lorraine Marshall ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Sam McDaniel ... Porter in 'Honeymoon Hotel' (uncredited)
Leila McIntyre ... Mother in 'Honeymoon Hotel' (uncredited)
William V. Mong ... Auditor (uncredited)

Lee Moran ... Mac - the Dance Director (uncredited)
Dave O'Brien ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Sue Rainey ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Donna Mae Roberts ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Jean Rogers ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Rosalie Roy ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Cliff Saum ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Harry Seymour ... Desk Clerk in 'Honeymoon Hotel' / Joe (uncredited)

Ann Sothern ... Lady at Bar in 'Shanghai Lil' (uncredited)
Billy Taft ... Boy Cat 'Sittin' on a Backyard Fence' / Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Victoria Vinton ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Juliet Ware ... Miss Smythe (uncredited)
Charles C. Wilson ... Policeman (uncredited)
Vivian Wilson ... Chorus girl (uncredited)
Pat Wing ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Duke York ... Sailor on Table in 'Shanghai Lil' (uncredited)

Directed by
Lloyd Bacon 
 
Writing credits
Manuel Seff (screen play) and
James Seymour (screen play)

Robert Lord  story (uncredited)
Peter Milne  story (uncredited)

Produced by
Robert Lord .... producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
George Barnes (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
George Amy (edited by)
 
Art Direction by
Anton Grot 
Jack Okey 
 
Costume Design by
Milo Anderson (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gordon Hollingshead .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Herbert Plews .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Oliver S. Garretson .... sound (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Harry Barnhouse .... chief grip (uncredited)
Leo Green .... chief electrician (uncredited)
Jack Koffman .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Warren Lynch .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Scotty Welbourne .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Al Dubin .... music and lyrics by
Sammy Fain .... music and lyrics by
Leo F. Forbstein .... conductor: Vitaphone Orchestra
Irving Kahal .... music and lyrics by
Harry Warren .... music and lyrics by
Ray Heindorf .... music arranger (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Busby Berkeley .... numbers created and directed by
William Keighley .... dialogue director
Lewis Geib .... technical director (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
104 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:G | UK:U | UK:A (original rating, cut version) | USA:G | USA:Approved (PCA #2649) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

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:
Revealing mistakes: 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:Hello, Vivian. This is Miss Rich. My secretary, Miss Prescott.
Nan Prescott:I know Miss Bi... Rich, if you remember.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
One Step Ahead of My ShadowSee more »

FAQ

What did Otis Ferguson say about Cagney in this film?
See more »
36 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
This is New Jersey, not Hollywood, 23 April 2006
Author: krorie from Van Buren, Arkansas

An opium den, a dirty little boy (actually a midget), prostitutes galore, a violent fracas in a dive, a motel for sexual shenanigans, scantily clad babes with cleavage a lot, a boozer falling down the stairs, a racially mixed clientèle in a bar with Asians, Africans, and Anglos treated equally, does this sound like a film playing at the local shopping mall? Wrong. These are all scenes from a 1933 musical.

The first half of "Footlight Parade" is preparation for a musical extravaganza which occupies the last half of the film. Chester Kent (Cagney) is about to lose his job and does lose his playgirl wife as a result of talking pictures squeezing out live stage musicals. His producers take him to see a popular talky of the day, John Wayne in "The Big Trail." Before each showing of the flick, a dance number is presented as a prologue. Shorts, news reels, serials, and cartoons would later serve the purpose. Kent gets the idea that a prologue chain would be the road to salvation for the dwindling live musical business. Kent is basically an idea man along the lines of choreographer Busby Berkeley. Could it be that Cagney's character is patterned after Berkeley? Could be.

In preparation for the prologues, Kent learns that his ideas are being stolen by a rival. He uncovers the traitor, fires him, then unbeknown to him a new leak is planted in the form a dazzling temptress. His assistant, Nan Prescott (Joan Blondell - soon to be Mrs. Dick Powell) has the hots for Kent and is determined to expose the wiles of the temptress. A new singer from Arkansas College shows up in the form of Scotty Blain (Dick Powell) who turns out to be a real find and is paired with Bea Thorn (Ruby Keeler). The resulting three prologue musicals, which couldn't possibly have been presented on any cinema stage of the day, are as fresh and enjoyable today as they were over seventy years ago, "Honeymoon Hotel," "By a Waterfall," and "Shanghai Lil."

Of special note is the song and dance of tough-guy James Cagney. Like Fred Astaire and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Cagney's dancing appeared natural and unrehearsed, although hours went into practice to get each step just right. Not as good a singer as Astaire, Cagney's singing, like Astaire's, sounded natural, unlike the crooning so popular at the time. It's amazing that one person could be so talented and so versatile as James Cagney.

Most critics prefer the "Shanghai Lil" segment over the other two. Yet the kaleidoscopic choreography of "By a Waterfall" is astonishing. How Berkeley was able to film the underwater ballets and to create the human snake chain must have been difficult because it has never been repeated. The close up shots mixed brilliantly with distant angles is a must-see. The crisp black and white photography is much more artistic than it would have been if shot in color.

Though not nearly as socially conscious as "Gold Diggers of 1933," "Footlight Parade" stands on its own as one of the most amazing and outrageous musicals ever put on the big screen.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Strange shot butaneggbert
miss b uh rich suziecheezy
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Dave O'Brien in Honeymoon Hotel old_tv_guy
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