Movie Review: 42nd Street

469 words - 2 pages

42nd Street (1933) is the classic, fast paced, backstage movie musical a refreshing film musical forever and saved Warner Bros. It saved the studios from bankruptcy, helping it grow into a major studio. Set during the Depression and about the Depression, the film is considered the backstage musical par excellence, the grand daddy of them all. It was based on putting on a show tradition stemming from MGM's first sound film, The Broadway Melody, another "backstage musical".Lloyd Bacon provided its skillful director, with a funny, often-sardonic screenplay by Rian ...view middle of the document...

The film was an unbelievable look at the tough realities of backstage life behind the footlights. The urban milieu of the film is filled with crisp, slangy, bitter dialogue and wisecracks, streetwise characters, topical references, desperately striving chorines, dancers, crew, and down and out references to the Depression.After the credits and the brief introduction of charters, the film opens with a shaky aerial view of mid town Manhattan, presumably near 42nd Street. As car horns honk and the sounds of the elevated and other traffic fill the soundtrack, full frame close-ups appear of street corner signs along 42nd Street all way to Times Square. The image dissolves into a view of a theatrical agent hanging up a phone call and exclaiming: Okay say, Jones and Barry are doing a show! The exciting news alert is passed by word of mouth from one person to another, because it means employment. Then, more voices join in. Multiple faces appear superimposed in a dancing kaleidoscope of images over a gigantic screen-filling close-up of lips speaking the same seven words. Telephone linemen testing the line tell a telephone operator the news. 42nd Street is memorable moments from great movies. There were Great stars and characters in great moments from great movies!

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