7.6/10
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Footlight Parade (1933)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 21 October 1933 (USA)
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3:17 | Trailer

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ON DISC
Chester Kent struggles against time, romance, and a rival's spy to produce spectacular live "prologues" for movie houses.

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writers:

Manuel Seff (screen play), James Seymour (screen play)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Ex-convict Danny Kean decides to become honest as a photographer for a paper. He falls in love with Patricia, the daughter of the policeman who arrested him. Mr Nolan, her father, doesn't ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: James Cagney, Ralph Bellamy, Patricia Ellis
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... Chester Kent
Joan Blondell ... Nan Prescott
Ruby Keeler ... Bea Thorn
Dick Powell ... Scotty Blair
Frank McHugh ... Francis
Guy Kibbee ... Silas Gould
Ruth Donnelly ... Mrs. Harriet Gould
Hugh Herbert ... Bowers
Claire Dodd ... Vivian Rich
Gordon Westcott ... Thompson
Arthur Hohl ... Frazer
Renee Whitney ... Cynthia Kent
Barbara Rogers ... Gracie
Paul Porcasi ... Apolinaris
Philip Faversham ... Joe Grant
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Storyline

Chester Kent produces musical comedies on the stage. With the beginning of the talkies era he changes to producing short musical prologues for movies. This is stressful to him, because he always needs new units and his rival is stealing his ideas. He can get an contract with a producer if he is able to stage in three days three new prologues. In spite of great problems, he does it. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Climaxing Warner Bros.' glittering parade of musicals! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

21 October 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A rivalda fénye See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$703,000 (estimated)
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a documentary, The John Garfield Story (2003), actress Julie Garfield denied that her father, John Garfield, is the sailor-extra he is often credited with being in the "Shanghai Lil" production number. Whoever the extra is, he's a dead ringer for Mr. Garfield. See more »

Goofs

The newspaper claims that Honeymoon Hotel has "400 rooms, 400 baths," and yet later we see all guests of each floor disappearing into a single bathroom on each floor. See more »

Quotes

Nan Prescott: I've got an idea.
Chester Kent: Keep it to yourself or the wife'll cash in on it.
Nan Prescott: And when I get an idea I do something about it.
Chester Kent: Most dames do.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Muppets Most Wanted (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Sittin' on a Back Yard Fence
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Irving Kahal
Played during the Cat unit rehearsal
Danced by Ruby Keeler
Performed by Ruby Keeler, Billy Taft and Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Genius of Busby
27 December 2006 | by ilprofessore-1See all my reviews

Busby's genius --his "fantastic" use of camera and editing-- is even more remarkably innovative when you remember that only a few years before this film was made on the sound stages of Warner Bros. in 1933 cameras were stuck in sound proof booths in order to deaden the noise of the machine. Many movies back then were no more than static reproductions of talky stage plays. Busby opened the door to pure cinema.

Busby is surely one of the first directors to realize that if you pre-recorded the music sound tracks before you filmed the musical numbers you could then move the actors and dancers as you wished; the performers would either be lip-syncing or dancing to playback and the camera could be anywhere high or low. Busby's previous experience as a drill master in the military also taught him how to train dancers and swimmers by giving them only a few steps (or strokes) to learn at a time; by clever editing a montage of shots in time to a set music track he could then give the impression of a continuously flowing extravaganza a la Zigfield. One can only imagine how many hours went into getting the never-to-be-equaled overhead snake design shot in "By A Waterfall."

Yes, the Odessa steps sequence in "Potemkin" is justifiably considered to be one of the great innovative moments in cinema. Let me cast my vote for Busby's incomparable last act to "Footlight Parade."


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