42nd Street

PhotobucketPhotobucketArchetypal backstage musical about putting on a Broadway show, from casting call to opening night.  Actress Ruby Keeler is Peggy Sawyer, the ingénue, in her film debut.  Landmark musical holds up pretty well considering its age, but features a storyline full of what would later become well-worn clichés.  Three Busby Berkeley production numbers: “Shuffle Off to Buffalo”, “Young and Healthy”, and the title song, make up the last twenty minutes of the film.  These numbers, are the real reason to watch.  The last two, in particular, are an absolute tour de force of the chorographer’s talent.


3 Responses to “42nd Street”

  1. I found this movie singularly uninvolving and Ruby Keeler was an absolutely horrible actress. I found her dancing jerky.


    • True, this is a very dated film and the story was unexceptional. The acting, singing and dancing are all very typical of this era‘s musicals i.e. Gold Diggers, Broadway Melody, Footlight Parade. In my opinion, Ruby Keeler wasn’t any worse than anyone else in the cast. Besides, the film didn’t rest sorely on her talents anyway since the cast was so large.

      I think my enjoyment of the film was more that of a film buff looking at a fascinating document from the past and I really enjoy Busby Berkeley’s kaleidoscopic dance routines.


  2. Hadn’t heard of this before, but I’m definitely interested.


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