7.4/10
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42nd Street (1933)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 11 March 1933 (USA)
Trailer
2:19 | Trailer
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

Writers:

Rian James (screen play), James Seymour (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Warner Baxter ... Julian Marsh
Bebe Daniels ... Dorothy Brock
George Brent ... Pat Denning
Ruby Keeler ... Peggy Sawyer
Guy Kibbee ... Abner Dillon
Una Merkel ... Lorraine Fleming
Ginger Rogers ... Ann Lowell
Ned Sparks ... Thomas Barry
Dick Powell ... Billy Lawler
Allen Jenkins ... Mac Elroy
Edward J. Nugent ... Terry
Robert McWade ... Jones
George E. Stone ... Andy Lee
Learn more

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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

OH BABY YOU'LL LOVE IT! Like a dozen shows in one! Throbbing songs and thrilling romance! Rollicking fun and dazzling beauties! 14 famous stars in the cast! It's guaranteed to chase the blues! (Print Ad- Albany Evening News, ((Albany NY)) 8 March 1933) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film, released on March 9, 1933, single-handedly rescued the movie musical, which had been considered a money-losing proposition since mid-1930. Early "all talking, all dancing" musicals typically suffered from severe camera restrictions coupled with poor musical staging, and soured the public on the genre in general (Universal's huge losses from the lively King of Jazz (1930) had put an unofficial moratorium on the musical) and no other studio wanted to risk producing one. Warners, at the time of the film's release, had Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) nearing completion and pre-production plans were well underway for Footlight Parade (1933), all utilizing the talents of Busby Berkeley. The success of this film would convince Radio Pictures to produce Flying Down to Rio (1933) (released that December). Other major studios would continue to shy away from musicals throughout 1933, although Paramount would proceed with plans to produce the lavish Murder at the Vanities (1934) toward the end of the year. See more »

Goofs

During an overhead shot, the girls are dancing on a raised circular platform and the male dancers are lying face down in a radial pattern around the platform. In the next shot the men are on their feet approaching the girls on the platform. See more »

Quotes

Slim Murphy: Hey got a match?
Pat Denning: Yep... why I guess so... yeah.
Slim Murphy: Don't happen to know a guy named Pat Denning do ya?
Pat Denning: Why yes.
Slim Murphy: We got a message for him. This guy Pat Denning's a pretty wise mug but he ain't wise enough and if he don't lay off that Dorothy Brock dame, it's gonna be just too bad... for Denning, get me?
Pat Denning: Alright I'll tell him.
Slim Murphy: Yeah well...
[punches Pat in the mouth and Pat falls down]
Slim Murphy: that's so ya don't forget.
Mug with Murphy: Yeah
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

A digitally restored and colorized version was recently released. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Not for Publication (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Forty-Second Street
(1932) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Music by Harry Warren
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
Sung and Danced by Ruby Keeler
Sung by Dick Powell and chorus girls
See more »

User Reviews

A snappy classic
28 February 1999 | by otterSee all my reviews

One of the best of the backstage musicals, it's very realistic for a Hollywood musical, in a gritty, fast-paced kind of way. Ruby Keeler is an utterly appealing ingenue, so fresh-faced and adorable that you don't care if she can't sing, dance, or act.

It's been so often imitated that a synopsis might seem like a collection of cliches, but since they were fresh ideas when the film was made they seem as original as they were at the time. It's all sincere and lively, and a lot of fun to watch. Fabulous musical numbers, too, classic Busby Berkeley (but my favorite is the rehearsal punctuated by mistakes and "You've got the busiest hands" from the chorus).


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 March 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Forty-Second Street See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$439,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,600
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 »

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