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42nd Street

During the early 1930s, Warner Bros. churned out a series of “backstage musicals” featuring complex choreography by the legendary Busby Berkeley, who had landed at the studio following stints on Broadway and for Samuel Goldwyn’s productions. At Warner, Berkeley made some of his most lasting creations, and 1933 was a banner year. 42nd Street follows the production of a stage play, Pretty Lady. Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels) stars, but when she turns up injured, it’s up to understudy Peggy (Ruby Keeler) to save the day—and the production. A smash success upon initial release and featuring the lavish Berkeley numbers “Shuffle Off to Buffalo,” “(I’m) Young and Healthy,” and “42nd Street”—all by the genius songwriting team of Harry Warren and Al Dubin—the film is pure delight from start to finish, only gaining in stature as time goes by.

35mm print preserved by the Library of Congress.

Genres: Musical, Comedy, Drama

Other Films by Lloyd Bacon

Footlight Parade

Busby Berkeley’s last of three “backstage musicals” made at Warner Bros. in 1933 is the delightful, somewhat overshadowed Footlight Parade, which adds the otherworldly James Cagney to an already potent mix of elements. Featuring unforgettable numbers such as “Honeymoon Hotel” and “By a Waterfall,” along with more questionable material for which Berkeley and songwriters Harry

Other Films by Busby Berkeley

Footlight Parade

Busby Berkeley’s last of three “backstage musicals” made at Warner Bros. in 1933 is the delightful, somewhat overshadowed Footlight Parade, which adds the otherworldly James Cagney to an already potent mix of elements. Featuring unforgettable numbers such as “Honeymoon Hotel” and “By a Waterfall,” along with more questionable material for which Berkeley and songwriters Harry

Gold Diggers of 1933

Busby Berkeley’s second of three “backstage musicals” for Warner Bros. in 1933 was the fabled Gold Diggers of 1933, which features some of the famed choreographer’s best-known dance creations, including “We’re in the Money,” “Pettin’ in the Park,” “The Shadow Waltz,” and “Remember My Forgotten Man,” all written by the team of Harry Warren and