- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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It is a big Busby Berkeley spectacular, and does have an early Ginger Rogers- two major things going for it. I loved Warner Baxter as the stressed out director, and I also enjoyed Bebe Daniels as the star who breaks her leg. But it lost some points for me with Ruby Keeler's character. There was no reason for her to be noticed among the other dancers- that was the main drawback. Plus, we're supposed to believe that she's a better dancer than Ginger Rogers! Her character was grating and detracted from the believability for me.
Didn't have room to mention on other review all my thoughts. Unlike the other Busby filns, Ruby got romantic with George Brent instead of Powell, although she eloped with Powell at the beginning and later on in film. I loved Una Merkel and her quirkiness here although she looked different from in some of her other films. Ginger was mono-spectacled and faking an English accent here as Anytime Annie, although she didn't seem to like being called that. Bebe Daneils, the show's lead, had some tension with Ruby since they both had a desire for dating Brent. Ruby looked beautiful in that white dress toward the end of the film, well she looked beautiful all the time. The songs were great, all of them. Especially the title song, Ruby's beauty and singing and dancing talent in it, and the great music in it. The music was great throughout the film.
Intro to the wonderful Ruby
Poor Ruby, those girls making fun of her when first arriving for auditions, almost sending her into the men's room. But I found that girls were all being quite rude to each other and you had to handle it by finding a snappy insult back. Some that I recall were "get a load of Minnie the Mountaineer", "short order of ham, comin up!", and Ginger's "oh dear, another calf into a cartload" when the director asked the girls to show their legs. Also, why did Ruby stay in the theater and fall asleep on one of the benches after they cut her from auditions? But it's a good thing she did, becausr director Warner Baxter invited her back when finding out they were one girl short, of course with the help of Dick Powell, who falls for Ruby in every film they've started together in. Warner sure was one insane, hard driving SOB director, the way he yelled at and drove those dancers into the ground. And the way he and his assistants yelled "quiet!!" at the girls every time they even giggled.
- kevin sellers
Red Rain's perceptive review below pretty much sums up my feelings for this wonderful piece of bawdiness courtesy of Busby, Ruby, Warner, Ginger et. al I would only add a commendation for a snappy, witty, funny, wisecracking screenplay by Rian James and James Seymour (and why didn't these two have bigger careers?) that lifts you over the few dull stretches involving George Brent and Bebe Daniels. Give it an A minus.
Lots of fun. Dancing, snappy dialogue, and cliches that were still fresh enough that they weren't cliches yet. Una Merkel and Ginger are great. Film is kind of All that Jazz, without the self-analysis and drugs. Too directors trying for that one more hit show. Definitely more than just a historical curiosity. Still back and enjoy.
Brilliant dancing and score, with Busby Berkley making you just gasp at his trademark settings and surprises. Keeler's voice is quite thin and can be grating but she's so sweet in this film that you can forgive her that. Great seeing the very young Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers here. I note in the credits at the end of the film that this was released in 1932, not 1933 as TCM lists it. That's an important difference as it puts the film in a better perspective, as 1932 was the apex of the Depression. This film is also pre-Hayes Code and it shows in several scenes in the film. Busby gets quite risque in the dances at times and the camera going between the spread legs of the dancers in one scene was quite provocative for the time. I give this film four stars because it is so innovative for the time and the score just keeps you humming along. It's truly the precursor to "The show must go on!" films that followed and this one is the ideal!
- Michael Whitty
One of the first big musicals showing a Broadway show getting made in the early 30s with an array of songs "42nd Street" has all the energy of classic Hollywood. This was before Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers but had the Busby Berkeley production magic that gave musicals appeal. It was impressive at times and had many good songs to go with. Even though it couldn't be technically strong the will to entertain was strong. An early musical classic.
- Janet Masly
Fantastic movie!!!! I watch it every time I can. I love the songs, especially 42st Street. It has such a wonderfully nostalgic view of NYC. I love the bantering between characters and the plot. There will never be movies like this again. The dancing is alot better than American Idol. I am so glad that TCM shows this often. This movie is certainly a classic.
I simply adore this movie! It is perfect in every way. The songs, the dancing, the Busby Berkeley choreography...simply fantastic. Wish I'd been alive then! Pre-Hayes code too, I believe. This is a movie that will lift your spirits and have you singing along and tapping your feet!
great, timeless, musical drama,warner baxter dead on brilliant,should have got an oscar, exactly the way directors behave during rehersals. a driven work aholic. the musical numbers typical hokey 1920s, 30s , work beautifully not zeigfield - rather , hard knocks sweat and tears grind.ruby keeler is perfect in this part, never a great actress, and no ann miller or elanor powell, and thats what makes it work .dick powell s constant mugging and grinning (never a big fan of boy voice irish tenors) makes me cringe (sorry ireland) glad to see he got smart later in his career turning to serious acting and directing. the rest of the cast are great. not in my opinion the greatest musical of all time or the pioneer first classic milestone etc.( suffers from being over rated )as some have suggested, but a great old movie to watch and enjoy.
- Dashiell Barnes
Not only the greatest backstage musical, but the film that improved on how musicals are made. Much like her character, Keeler became a sensation in her first major film, fine ensemble overall. Berkeley's famous geometric choreography & great musical numbers are in top-notch form. If "Cavalcade" didn't win Best Picture, this masterpiece would've. I give it a 5/5.
- Alison Winston
They don't make them like this anymore. The costumes, gowns are gorgeous. You will find yourself taping your feet as the songs play. I love to watch this movie it always puts me in a good mood and then I realize once again I was born way too late.
- Laura B
What can I say. A top notch film in a style you can no longer see. Great story line and acting, dont miss it!.
Perfect in every way.
This movie is on DVD.
This movie is on DVD. I have viewed it on DVD. My friend owns this movie. We watch it all the time. I dunno why you have to vote to have it on DVD, when well, it is.