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42nd Street (1933)

7.8
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A producer puts on what may be his last Broadway show, and at the last moment a chorus girl has to replace the star...

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Title: 42nd Street (1933)

42nd Street (1933) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
George Brent ...
...
Guy Kibbee ...
Una Merkel ...
...
Ann
Ned Sparks ...
Barry
...
...
Mac Elroy
Edward J. Nugent ...
Terry
Robert McWade ...
Jones
...
Andy Lee
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Storyline

Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter), a successful Broadway director, produces a new show, in spite of his poor health. The money comes from a rich older man, who is in love with the star of the show, Dorothy Brock. But Dorothy (Bebe Daniels) doesn't respond to his love, because she's still in love with her old partner. On the night before the premiere, Dorothy breaks her ankle, and Peggy Sawyer (Ruby Keeler), one of the chorus girls, tries to take over Dorothy's part. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 March 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Forty-Second Street  »

Box Office

Budget:

$439,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film, released on March 9, 1933, single-handedly rescued the movie musical, which had been considered a money losing proposition since mid-1930. Early "all talking, all dancing" musicals typically suffered from severe camera restrictions coupled with poor musical staging, soured the public on the genre in general (Universal's huge losses from the lively King of Jazz (1930) had put an unofficial moratorium on the musical) and no other studio wanted to risk producing one. Warners, at the time of the film's release, had Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) nearing completion and pre-production plans were well underway for Footlight Parade (1933), all utilizing the talents of Busby Berkeley. The success of this film would convince Radio Pictures to produce Flying Down to Rio (1933) (released that December). Other major studios would continue to shy away from musicals throughout 1933, although Paramount would proceed with plans to produce the lavish Murder at the Vanities (1934) toward the end of the year. See more »

Goofs

The same drinking glass (water) is used throughout the movie. The glass is first seen during the rehearsals when Peggy faints. The same glass then pops up again in Pat Denning's home/apartment when he uses it for his lapel flower/button hole, then again the exact same glass appears in Julian Marsh's hotel room, but this time after the company have moved on to Philadelphia. See more »

Quotes

Billy Lawler: [to Peggy Sawyer] Hey, I've been for you ever since you walked in on me in my BVD's.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Heavy Traffic (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Theme
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Instrumental heard in apartment scene with Pat Denning and Peggy Sawyer
Also heard after Peggy's practice for the lead in the show, when Billy Lawler joins her
See more »

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User Reviews

Depression-era Gem
21 December 2001 | by (West Virginia) – See all my reviews

This is one fun movie if you like singing, dancing and adore the whole atmosphere of the early 30's. A back stage story that sets the standard for all those "unknown becomes overnight star" films. The weakest part of it all is Ruby Keeler and I apologize in advance to all of her fans and there are many. She was an Irish Step Dancer, which does not come across very well in film. Step dancers concentrate on their feet only and upper body movement is not a consideration. This makes the dancer appear as heavy footed and clumsy. Plus she wasn't a very good actress and didn't sing very well either. But she was as cute as a button with those big eyes and innocent face,so all is forgiven.

Warner Baxter gives the best performance of his career as the driven director who verges on madness. Dick Powell is delightful as the juvenile; many who only know him from his later films are not aware that he had a beautiful tenor voice and made his first splash in films as a singer and light comedian. Ginger Rogers is perfect as the slightly dishonorable chorus girl with the sugar daddy and Una Merkle playing Ginger's pal is surprisingly cute. Bebe Daniels is beautiful as the star of the play and does a great rendition of "You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me"., The rest of the supporting cast is right on target...with some good support from Ned Sparks, Guy Kibbee and the ubiquitous George E. Stone.

A lot got by the censors in this film to the delight of the audience....things were tightened up the next year as the Hayes Office started cracking down. Enjoy this film...enjoy, enjoy, and enjoy!!


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