42nd Street (1933). 89 minutes. Directed by Lloyd Bacon. Musical sequences directed by Busby Berkeley. Starring Ruby Keeler (as Peggy Sawyer), Warner Baxter (as Julian Marsh), Bebe Daniels (as Dorothy Brock), George Brent (as Pat Denning), Guy Kibbee (as Abner Dillon), Ginger Rogers (as Ann Lowell), and Dick Powell (as Billy Lawler). Music and lyrics by Harry Warren and Al Dubin.
42nd Street is the first of four movies whose musical sequences Busby Berkeley directed for Warner Bros. from 1933 to 1934. Prior to 42nd Street, Berkeley had directed theatrical productions and short sequences for Eddie Cantor musicals, but 42nd Street was a different sort of vehicle, both for Berkeley and for Hollywood. According to Leonard Maltin, by 1933 movie-going audiences, which had been inundated with musicals since the birth of sound film technology a few years earlier, had grown tired of song-and-dance productions. As a musical that was also a backstage story, 42nd Street offered a fresh … Read the rest