7.7/10
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66 user 35 critic

Footlight Parade (1933)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 21 October 1933 (USA)
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3:16 | Trailer

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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)
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1 win. See more awards »

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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
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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:

All directed and staged by the internationally famous creators of "42nd Street", Lloyd Bacon and Busby Berkeley. CAN YOU EVEN THINK OF MISSING IT? See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

21 October 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A rivalda fénye See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Three and a half minutes into FOOTLIGHT PARADE, Chester (James Cagney), Si (Guy Kibbee), and others watch the ending of the film The Telegraph Trail (1933) in a movie theater. Actor Frank McHugh), who plays Francis in FOOTLIGHT PARADE, is John Wayne's co-star in THE TELEGRAPH TRAIL, giving McHugh the distinction of playing different characters in the film and the film within the film. 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

Bea: Nan, are you busy?
Nan Prescott: No, just dreaming lazily about life.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

One Step Ahead of My Shadow
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Irving Kahal
Played when Kent introduces Scotty to Mac
Performed by a rehearsing chorus line
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Genius of Busby
27 December 2006 | by ilprofessore-1See all my reviews

Busby's genius --his "fantastic" use of camera and editing-- is even more remarkably innovative when you remember that only a few years before this film was made on the sound stages of Warner Bros. in 1933 cameras were stuck in sound proof booths in order to deaden the noise of the machine. Many movies back then were no more than static reproductions of talky stage plays. Busby opened the door to pure cinema.

Busby is surely one of the first directors to realize that if you pre-recorded the music sound tracks before you filmed the musical numbers you could then move the actors and dancers as you wished; the performers would either be lip-syncing or dancing to playback and the camera could be anywhere high or low. Busby's previous experience as a drill master in the military also taught him how to train dancers and swimmers by giving them only a few steps (or strokes) to learn at a time; by clever editing a montage of shots in time to a set music track he could then give the impression of a continuously flowing extravaganza a la Zigfield. One can only imagine how many hours went into getting the never-to-be-equaled overhead snake design shot in "By A Waterfall."

Yes, the Odessa steps sequence in "Potemkin" is justifiably considered to be one of the great innovative moments in cinema. Let me cast my vote for Busby's incomparable last act to "Footlight Parade."


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