7.7/10
4,073
65 user 35 critic

Footlight Parade (1933)

Trailer
3:16 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writers:

Manuel Seff (screen play), James Seymour (screen play)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Warren William, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon
42nd Street (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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
Dames (1934)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When two investors inform an opportunistic dancer that they can't fund an elderly stage producer's production, she suggests they get an insurance policy on the producer's life.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Glenda Farrell
Blonde Crazy (1931)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The adventures of an egoistic con man and his glamorous accomplice.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Louis Calhern
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A Parisian tailor finds himself posing as a baron in order to collect a sizeable bill from an aristocrat, only to fall in love with an aloof young princess.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charles Ruggles
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Ex-convict Danny Kean decides to become honest as a photographer for a paper. He falls in love with Patricia, the daughter of the policeman who arrested him. Mr Nolan, her father, doesn't ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: James Cagney, Ralph Bellamy, Patricia Ellis
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
Lady Killer (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A former gangster makes it big in Hollywood, but his old life catches up with him.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: James Cagney, Mae Clarke, Margaret Lindsay
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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Young boxer Jim Kane, resting at a New Mexico "health ranch," meets and falls for Peggy Harmon, former nightclub table singer...who needs $600 more for her sickly son to stay in the place. ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: James Cagney, Marian Nixon, Guy Kibbee
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... Chester Kent
Joan Blondell ... Nan Prescott
Ruby Keeler ... Bea Thorn
Dick Powell ... Scotty Blair
Frank McHugh ... Francis
Guy Kibbee ... Silas Gould
Ruth Donnelly ... Mrs. Harriet Gould
Hugh Herbert ... Bowers
Claire Dodd ... Vivian Rich
Gordon Westcott ... Thompson
Arthur Hohl ... Frazer
Renee Whitney ... Cynthia Kent
Barbara Rogers ... Gracie
Paul Porcasi ... Apolinaris
Philip Faversham ... Joe Grant
Edit

Storyline

Chester Kent produces musical comedies on the stage. With the beginning of the talkies era he changes to producing short musical prologues for movies. This is stressful to him, because he always needs new units and his rival is stealing his ideas. He can get an contract with a producer if he is able to stage in three days three new prologues. In spite of great problems, he does it. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Climaxing Warner Bros.' glittering parade of musicals! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

21 October 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A rivalda fénye See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$703,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In a documentary, The John Garfield Story (2003), actress Julie Garfield denied that her father, John Garfield, is the sailor-extra he is often credited with being in the "Shanghai Lil" production number. Whoever the extra is, he's a dead ringer for Mr. Garfield. See more »

Goofs

Before the bus leaves for the three prologue performances the call board reads Diana Theatre 8pm, Mercury Theatre 9pm and Jupiter Theatre 10pm. They arrive at the Jupiter Theatre first and proceed in reverse order from what was written on the call board. See more »

Quotes

Nan Prescott: I've got an idea.
Chester Kent: Keep it to yourself or the wife'll cash in on it.
Nan Prescott: And when I get an idea I do something about it.
Chester Kent: Most dames do.
See more »


Soundtracks

Anchors Aweigh
(1906) (uncredited)
Music by Charles A. Zimmerman
Played briefly during the Shanghai Lil sequence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Depression Era Musical Masterpiece
23 July 2002 | by claudiacasswellSee all my reviews

Footlight Parade is among the best of the 1930's musical comedy extravaganzas. A snappy script and an all-star cast including Jimmy Cagney, the lovely Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, and Ruby Keeler make this film a cut above the rest. Directed and choreographed by the creative genius Busby Berkeley, this film will have you grinning from ear-to-ear from start to finish.

Busby, of course, is the undisputed master of the Hollywood musical with "Gold Diggers of 1933" and "42nd Street" to his credit (as Dance Director). Footlight Parade is graced by hundreds of scantily-clad chorus girls, a Berkeley trademark. The elaborate dance numbers were shot with only one camera and Busby was the first director to film close-ups of the dancers. His obsession with shapely legs and "rear-view" shots is amply demonstrated here. The overall effect is highly erotic and mesmerizing.

Our boy Jimmy Cagney plays Chester Kent, a producer of "prologues" or short musical stage productions that were performed in movie theaters to entertain the audience before the talkies were shown. He's surrounded by crooked partners, a corporate spy, and a gold-digging girlfriend. Although Cagney had a solid background in vaudeville, this was the first film in which he showed his dancing talents. Joan Blondell is memorable as Cagney's wise-cracking, lovestruck secretary. And Ruby Keeler is adorable, as always.

The film climaxes with three outstanding production numbers, "Honeymoon Hotel", "The Waterfall", and "Shanghai Lil", each one a masterpiece and not likely to be duplicated in today's Hollywood where so-called "special effects" have replaced creative cinematography.

Claudia's Bottom Line: Clever and erotic, with some of the best musical production numbers ever put on celluloid. A thoroughly enjoyable Depression era romp.


49 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 65 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed