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

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

WAYS TO
WATCH:

See all
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 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  

Millionaire turned composer Dick Powell rescues unemployed Broadway people with a new play.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Warren William, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In a luxury hotel stage director Nicoleff stages a show to get the money to pay his bills. Mrs. Prentiss, who is backing the show wants her daughter Ann to marry the millionaire T. Mosely ... See full summary »

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Dick Powell, Adolphe Menjou, Gloria Stuart
Top Hat (1935)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton
Swing Time (1936)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A performer and gambler travels to New York City to raise the $25,000 he needs to marry his fiancée, only to become entangled with a beautiful aspiring dancer.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Victor Moore
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Mimi Glossop wants a divorce so her Aunt Hortense hires a professional to play the correspondent in apparent infidelity. American dancer Guy Holden meets Mimi while visiting Brightbourne (... See full summary »

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Alice Brady
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the Gay Nineties, a seductive nightclub singer contends with several suitors, including a jealous escaped convict and a handsome temperance league member.

Director: Lowell Sherman
Stars: Mae West, Cary Grant, Owen Moore
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson
Dames (1934)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Multi-millionaire Ezra Ounce wants to start a campaign against 'filthy' forms of entertainment, like Broadway-Shows. He comes to his relatives families and makes them members of his ... See full summary »

Directors: Ray Enright, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A film of 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

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

Storyline

Renowned Broadway producer/director Julian Marsh is hired to put together a new musical revue. It's being financed by Abner Dillon to provide a starring vehicle for his girlfriend, songstress Dorothy Brock. Marsh, who is quite ill, is a difficult task master working long hours and continually pushing the cast to do better. When Brock breaks her ankle one of the chorus girls, Peggy Sawyer, gets her big chance to be the star. She also finds romance along the way. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

OK. Say, Jones and Barry are doin' a show! - That's great. Jones and Barry are doin' a show.


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original novel by Bradford Ropes, director Julian Marsh is gay. See more »

Goofs

The opening credits say "COPYRIGHT MCMXXXIII [1933]," but the closing credits say "COPYRIGHT MCMXXXII [1932]". 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

Featured in 100 Years at the Movies (1994) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
the movie that created the clichés
16 March 2006 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Most of the negative comments posted below seem to be from people who either just don't like musicals or who are unaware that all the "cliches" in this movie were essentially invented by "42nd Street." It's sort of like complaining that Shakespeare is full of quotations. This movie is absolutely brilliant, which is why it's been imitated endlessly for the last seven decades.

Sure, Keeler's not the end-all of tap dancing, but she fits the bill as an ingénue and is generally amiable and perky. The plot is predictable, but only because we've seen it duplicated so often. If you hadn't seen the same sort of thing a million times, you'd notice that it's tightly assembled and even somewhat suspenseful. The show is full of first-rate comic asides, even if some of the material is dated by obsolete slang and contemporary pop culture references.

And do people still take the trouble to complain that Busby Berkeley's dance numbers couldn't have been seen properly by the audience in the theater? That's like complaining that an ape couldn't really grow to be as large as King Kong. The whole point is that it's a movie, and Berkeley is able to do things that can't happen in the real world. Hence the transformation of background settings while the camera is close up on an actress's face. There isn't even such a thing as a close-up in a stage production. Carping that a '30's musical isn't realistic enough is like complaining that Venus couldn't actually have been born out of a clamshell.

In any case, this is one of the great '30s musicals... and one of the great Hollywood movies of all time. If you don't like the genre, then so be it. It always amazes me that so many film fans strongly prefer "Singin' in the Rain" to such predecessors as "42nd Street," "Dames," "Top Hat," "Swing Time," etc., when "Singin' in the Rain" is simply an homage to the '30s musical and generates quite little fresh material of its own. Mind you, it's a brilliantly executed homage, and it arguably benefits from its overt tongue-in-cheek attitude, but I can't help thinking many are simply swayed by the fact that it's in color (really good Technicolor) and has clearer sound quality than its '30s predecessors. Either way, you need to see and appreciate the original movie musicals before you can really understand what "Singin' in the Rain" was about... just as you should see some Hong Kong action flicks and blacksploitation films to get what's going on in "Pulp Fiction."

But I digress. See "42nd Street," and try to keep an open mind. Just because it's old is not a reason to assume that the people who made it didn't know their business extremely well.


47 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The greatest musical EVER FranLovesBetteD
Little nifties from the 50s? bobbobato
The Ending kingbjbob
colourised version pauldlangford
Girl with Dick Powell in Y+H? muhltohi
'Shotgun at his Bel-Tummy' Skrbi
Discuss 42nd Street (1933) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?