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Josef von Sternberg
Anna May Wong
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
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 »
All right, now, everybody... quiet, and listen to me. Tomorrow morning, we're gonna start a show. We're gonna rehearse for five weeks, and we're gonna open on scheduled time, and I MEAN scheduled time. You're gonna work and sweat, and work some more. You're gonna work days, and you're gonna work nights, and you're gonna work BETWEEN time when I think you need it. You're gonna dance until your feet fall off, till you're not able to stand up any longer, BUT five weeks from now, we're going to ...
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Perhaps the greatest musical of them all, this lively Warner Bros film boats a great cast and music and served as the prototype plot for scores of other films. Backstage drama in putting on a show when the star falls and breaks her ankle and must be replaced by a newcomer. It worked in film, and it worked in the Broadway stage version of this film. This film also served as a springboard to stardom for Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, and Ginger Rogers. Warner Baxter stars as the dyspeptic director who harangues his cast into making a great show. Bebe Daniels is his star who is seeing an old boyfriend (George Brent) while stringing along rube producer (Guy Kibbee). Ruby Keeler is the newcomer who has eyes for the show's "juvenile" (Dick Powell) and who is befriended by old hands, Ginger Rogers and Una Merkel. Toss in Ned Sparks, Allen Jenkins, George E. Stone, Louise Beavers, Charles Lane, Lyle Talbot, Henry B. Walthall, and the day's top chorus girl, Toby Wing. Great musical numbers boast the singing talents of Powell and the dancing talents of Keeler. Bebe Daniels also has a great number in "You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me." And Rogers does NOT make a mistake during the "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" number. She starts to say "belly" but changes it to "tummy." It's part of the show, folks! "Belly" was considered to be a vulgar term in 1933; her use of the word shows her character. It's not a mistake. But it is odd that Keeler stars in this number with Clarence Nordstrom rather than Dick Powell. Other songs include "Young and Healthy" and the superb "42nd Street." The best and oft repeated line belongs to Daniels speaking to Keeler: "Now go out there and be so swell . that you'll make me hate you!" This line is also said by Glenda Jackson to Twiggy in 1971's The Boy Friend.
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