Favorite Busby Berkeley films

by jrsl88 | created - 31 May 2011 | updated - 3 months ago | Public

Films which Busby Berkeley worked on as a choreographer and/or director that are my personal favorites. Arranged in ABC order. This list is my own opinion.

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1. 42nd Street (1933)

Passed | 89 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

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, Ruby Keeler

Votes: 9,543 | Gross: $2.30M

2. Babes in Arms (1939)

Unrated | 94 min | Comedy, Musical

A group of vaudevillians struggling to compete with talkies hits the road hoping for a comeback. Frustrated to be left behind, all of their kids put on a show themselves to raise money for the families and to prove they've got talent, too.

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee

Votes: 2,071

3. Babes on Broadway (1941)

Approved | 118 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Tommy Williams desperately wants to get to Broadway, but as he is only singing in a spaghetti house for tips he is a long way off. He meets Penny Morris, herself no mean singer, and through... See full summary »

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Fay Bainter, Virginia Weidler

Votes: 1,238 | Gross: $3.85M

4. Cabin in the Sky (1943)

Passed | 98 min | Fantasy, Musical

A compulsive gambler dies during a shooting, but he'll receive a second chance to reform himself and to make up with his worried wife.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Busby Berkeley | Stars: Ethel Waters, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong

Votes: 2,398

Shoeshine number

5. Dames (1934)

Approved | 91 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

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, Zasu Pitts

Votes: 1,660

6. Footlight Parade (1933)

Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

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, Dick Powell

Votes: 4,160

7. For Me and My Gal (1942)

Not Rated | 104 min | Musical, Romance, War

Two vaudeville performers fall in love, but find their relationship tested by the arrival of WWI.

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: Judy Garland, George Murphy, Gene Kelly, Mártha Eggerth

Votes: 2,765 | Gross: $4.37M

8. The Gang's All Here (1943)

Not Rated | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A soldier falls for a chorus girl and then experiences trouble when he is posted to the Pacific.

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: Alice Faye, Carmen Miranda, Phil Baker, Benny Goodman

Votes: 1,389

9. Girl Crazy (1943)

Passed | 99 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Rich kid Danny Churchill (Rooney) has a taste for wine, women and song, but not for higher education. So his father ships him to an all-male college out West where there's not supposed to ... See full summary »

Directors: Norman Taurog, Busby Berkeley | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Gil Stratton, Robert E. Strickland

Votes: 1,388 | Gross: $3.77M

I Got Rhythm number. Busby was the original director on the film but was fired for causing Judy Garland to faint from exhaustion.

10. Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

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

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Warren William, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon, Ruby Keeler

Votes: 6,528

11. Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935)

Approved | 95 min | Comedy, Musical

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

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: Dick Powell, Adolphe Menjou, Gloria Stuart, Alice Brady

Votes: 2,260

12. Hollywood Hotel (1937)

Approved | 109 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Ronny Bowers, a saxophonist in Benny Goodman's band has won a talent contest an got a ten week contract with a film studio. On his first evening he is supposed to go with the studio's star ... See full summary »

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: Dick Powell, Rosemary Lane, Lola Lane, Hugh Herbert

Votes: 577

13. Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962)

G | 123 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A debt-ridden circus is saved by a well-meaning but inept publicity man.

Director: Charles Walters | Stars: Doris Day, Jimmy Durante, Stephen Boyd, Martha Raye

Votes: 1,188

14. Lady Be Good (1941)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Musical

Songwriters Dixie Donegan and Eddie Crane are still in love after their divorce. Dixie's friend Marilyn Marsh tries to convince them to marry again, but this isn't that easy.

Directors: Norman Z. McLeod, Busby Berkeley | Stars: Eleanor Powell, Ann Sothern, Robert Young, Lionel Barrymore

Votes: 693

15. Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)

Approved | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

Biopic of Australian swimming champ and entertainer Annette Kellerman. After overcoming polio, Kellerman achieves fame and creates a scandal when her one-piece bathing suit is considered indecent.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Esther Williams, Victor Mature, Walter Pidgeon, David Brian

Votes: 1,113

16. Romance on the High Seas (1948)

Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Romantic misunderstandings abound when spouses suspect each other of being unfaithful, and a nightclub singer takes a cruise under a false identity.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, Busby Berkeley | Stars: Jack Carson, Janis Paige, Doris Day, Don DeFore

Votes: 1,574

17. Small Town Girl (1953)

Approved | 92 min | Musical, Romance

Rick Belrow Livingston, in love with Broadway star Lisa, is sentenced to 30 days in jail for speeding through a small town. He persuades the judge's daughter Cindy to let him leave for one ... See full summary »

Director: László Kardos | Stars: Jane Powell, Farley Granger, Ann Miller, S.Z. Sakall

Votes: 522

18. Strike Up the Band (1940)

Passed | 120 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Jimmy Connors and his girl-friend want to take part in Paul Whiteman's highschool's band contest, but they cannot afford the fare. But per chance the meet Paul Whiteman in person and are ... See full summary »

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Paul Whiteman and Orchestra, June Preisser

Votes: 1,230

19. Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)

Approved | 93 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Two turn-of-the-century baseball players, who work in vaudeville during the off-season, run into trouble with their team's new female owner and a gambler who doesn't want them to win the pennant.

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, Gene Kelly, Betty Garrett

Votes: 2,866

20. Two Weeks with Love (1950)

Passed | 90 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

The Robinson family are spending two weeks of summer vacation at a resort in the Catskills. Older daughter Patti vies with her friend, Valeria, for the affections of Demi Armendez but Patti... See full summary »

Director: Roy Rowland | Stars: Jane Powell, Ricardo Montalban, Louis Calhern, Ann Harding

Votes: 675

21. Varsity Show (1937)

Approved | 120 min | Musical

Winfield College students who are trying to put together the annual varsity show come into conflict with their faculty adviser, a stodgy old professor whose ideas are hopelessly out of date... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley | Stars: Dick Powell, Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians, Ted Healy, Rosemary Lane

Votes: 297

The final number

22. Whoopee! (1930)

TV-G | 93 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Western sheriff Bob Wells is preparing to marry Sally Morgan; she loves part-Indian Wanenis, whose race is an obstacle. Sally flees the wedding with hypochondriac Henry Williams, who thinks... See full summary »

Director: Thornton Freeland | Stars: Eddie Cantor, Ethel Shutta, Paul Gregory, Eleanor Hunt

Votes: 894

23. Wonder Bar (1934)

Passed | 84 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

Harry and Inez are a dance team at the Wonder Bar. Inez loves Harry, but he is in love with Liane, the wife of a wealthy business man. Al Wonder and the conductor/singer Tommy are in love ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Al Jolson, Kay Francis, Dolores del Rio, Ricardo Cortez

Votes: 528

24. Ziegfeld Girl (1941)

Passed | 132 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Z. Leonard, Busby Berkeley | Stars: James Stewart, Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr, Lana Turner

Votes: 2,243



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