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
In one of the opening scenes, Bebe Daniels is reading the February 20, 1932 issue of The New Yorker magazine, with its trademark top-hatted Manhattanite on the cover. This is not the premiere issue (2/21/1925), as previously thought. The New Yorker runs the premiere cover once every year on the date closest to the date of the first issue in 1925. A close comparison of the covers from the 1932 and 1933 anniversary covers (available at the New Yorker web site) shows this to be the one from 1932. See more »
The "42nd Street" finale features full size cars as well as buildings. In order to present this the stage would have had to be at least 60 feet deep and over 100 feet wide. This would be impossible in a real theater. See more »
Sawyer, you listen to me, and you listen hard. Two hundred people, two hundred jobs, two hundred thousand dollars, five weeks of grind and blood and sweat depend upon you. It's the lives of all these people who've worked with you. You've got to go on, and you've got to give and give and give. They've got to like you. Got to. Do you understand? You can't fall down. You can't because your future's in it, my future and everything all of us have is staked on you. All right, now I'm through, but you...
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A digitally restored and colorized version was recently released. See more »
Although I'm a big fan of Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers, I think Warner Baxter (as Julian Marsh) really steals this film. The movie is the original from which so many others have borrowed, but Baxter's portrayal of the world-weary, burned-out producer still stands as both complex and outstanding. He could easily have gone over the top with this part, but I found Julian Marsh to be very real person with very real problems. The rest of the movie is lots of fun, with plenty of gritty, behind the scenes wisecracks and a very adult outlook, especially for 1933. Busby Berkeley, Guy Kibbee, Una Merkel... lots to look at and enjoy, but the film really turns on a great performance by Warner Baxter...
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