42nd Street (1933)

89 mins | Musical | 11 March 1933

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Producer:

Darryl F. Zanuck

Cinematographer:

Sol Polito

Production Designer:

Jack Okey

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film introduced Ruby Keeler and was the first Warner Bros. film for Busby Berkeley and songwriters Harry Warren and Al Dubin. Mervyn LeRoy was originally scheduled to direct, but due to illness was replaced by Lloyd Bacon. According to AMPAS clipping files, as a publicity stunt, a train called the "42nd Street Special," traveled from Hollywood to New York City, arriving the day the film opened in New York. Celebrities including Tom Mix and his horse and chorus girls from the film were on the train.
       The film had a shooting schedule of 28 days and was made for a total cost of $340,000. The popular musical, which was one of the top money making films of the year, won Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Sound Recording and also appeared as number two on the Film Daily Ten Best. In 1980, a theatrical adaptation of the screenplay with additional songs, produced by David Merrick and choregraphed by Gower Champion, was a Broadway hit. According to modern sources, Whitney Bolton wrote the first treatment and worked with James Seymour on several drafts before he was replaced by Rian James. In 2005, 42nd Street was ranked 13th on AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals ... More Less

The film introduced Ruby Keeler and was the first Warner Bros. film for Busby Berkeley and songwriters Harry Warren and Al Dubin. Mervyn LeRoy was originally scheduled to direct, but due to illness was replaced by Lloyd Bacon. According to AMPAS clipping files, as a publicity stunt, a train called the "42nd Street Special," traveled from Hollywood to New York City, arriving the day the film opened in New York. Celebrities including Tom Mix and his horse and chorus girls from the film were on the train.
       The film had a shooting schedule of 28 days and was made for a total cost of $340,000. The popular musical, which was one of the top money making films of the year, won Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Sound Recording and also appeared as number two on the Film Daily Ten Best. In 1980, a theatrical adaptation of the screenplay with additional songs, produced by David Merrick and choregraphed by Gower Champion, was a Broadway hit. According to modern sources, Whitney Bolton wrote the first treatment and worked with James Seymour on several drafts before he was replaced by Rian James. In 2005, 42nd Street was ranked 13th on AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals list. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
5 Oct 32
p. 12.
Film Daily
4 Feb 33
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jan 33
p. 2.
International Photographer
May 33
p. 28.
Motion Picture Herald
18 Mar 33
p. 34.
New York Times
10 Mar 33
p. 19.
New York Times
19 Mar 33
p. 3.
Variety
14 Mar 33
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
2d cam
Asst cam
Still photog
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
COSTUMES
Gowns
Silks by
MUSIC
Vitaphone Orch dir
DANCE
Dances & ensembles created & staged by
PRODUCTION MISC
Chief elec
Chief grip
General press agent
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel 42nd Street by Bradford Ropes (New York, 1932).
SONGS
"42nd Street," "It Must Be June," Shuffle Off to Buffalo," "Young and Healthy" and "You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me," music and lyrics by Al Dubin and Harry Warren.
DETAILS
Release Date:
11 March 1933
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 9 March 1933
Production Date:
began week of 5 October 1932
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
29 March 1933
Copyright Number:
LP3760
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
89
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Julian Marsh, a tough, demanding Broadway director, ignores his weak heart when he has a chance to earn money he needs desperately by directing Pretty Lady the next musical for producers Jones & Barry. The leading lady, Dorothy Brock, has been cast already by backer Abner Dillon, who is also Dorothy's sugar daddy. In a highly competitive casting call, Marsh and his stage manager, Andy Lee, audition the dancers, choosing among them Lee's girlfriend Loraine Fleming, a gold digger nick-named Anytime Annie, and newcomer Peggy Sawyer. Billy Lawler, the play's juvenile, falls in love with Peggy, but she is more impressed with Pat Denning, Dorothy's lover and ex-partner. Pat is getting tired of living in the shadow of Dorothy's life and soon leaves for Philadelphia to establish his independence. Coincidentally, the company goes to Philadelphia for its out-of-town opening. During the cast party the night before the opening, Dorothy gets drunk, fights with Pat, and in the struggle, badly sprains her ankle. The next evening, after exhausting rehearsals with Marsh, Peggy goes on in her place and is a star overnight. Now she realizes that she loves Billy, just as Dorothy admits that what she really wants is to retire and marry Pat. In the end, Marsh's finances are saved, but his accomplishment is overshadowed by Peggy's new ... +


Julian Marsh, a tough, demanding Broadway director, ignores his weak heart when he has a chance to earn money he needs desperately by directing Pretty Lady the next musical for producers Jones & Barry. The leading lady, Dorothy Brock, has been cast already by backer Abner Dillon, who is also Dorothy's sugar daddy. In a highly competitive casting call, Marsh and his stage manager, Andy Lee, audition the dancers, choosing among them Lee's girlfriend Loraine Fleming, a gold digger nick-named Anytime Annie, and newcomer Peggy Sawyer. Billy Lawler, the play's juvenile, falls in love with Peggy, but she is more impressed with Pat Denning, Dorothy's lover and ex-partner. Pat is getting tired of living in the shadow of Dorothy's life and soon leaves for Philadelphia to establish his independence. Coincidentally, the company goes to Philadelphia for its out-of-town opening. During the cast party the night before the opening, Dorothy gets drunk, fights with Pat, and in the struggle, badly sprains her ankle. The next evening, after exhausting rehearsals with Marsh, Peggy goes on in her place and is a star overnight. Now she realizes that she loves Billy, just as Dorothy admits that what she really wants is to retire and marry Pat. In the end, Marsh's finances are saved, but his accomplishment is overshadowed by Peggy's new stardom. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.