42nd Street Renowned Broadway producer/director Julian Marsh is hired to put together a new musical revue. It’s being financed by Abner Dillon to provide a starring vehicle for his girlfriend, songstress Dorothy Brock. Marsh, who is quite ill, is a difficult task master working long hours and continually pushing the cast to do better. When Brock breaks her ankle one of the chorus girls, Peggy Sawyer, gets her big chance to be the star. She also finds romance along the way.
42nd Street This is one fun movie if you like singing, dancing and adore the whole atmosphere of the early 30’s. A back stage story that sets the standard for all those “unknown becomes overnight star” films. The weakest part of it all is Ruby Keeler and I apologize in advance to all of her fans and there are many. She was an Irish Step Dancer, which does not come across very well in film. Step dancers concentrate on their feet only and upper body movement is not a consideration. This makes the dancer appear as heavy footed and clumsy. Plus she wasn’t a very good actress and didn’t sing very well either. But she was as cute as a button with those big eyes and innocent face,so all is forgiven.
Warner Baxter gives the best performance of his career as the driven director who verges on madness. Dick Powell is delightful as the juvenile; many who only know him from his later films are not aware that he had a beautiful tenor voice and made his first splash in films as a singer and light comedian. Ginger Rogers is perfect as the slightly dishonorable chorus girl with the sugar daddy and Una Merkle playing Ginger’s pal is surprisingly cute. Bebe Daniels is beautiful as the star of the play and does a great rendition of “You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me”., The rest of the supporting cast is right on target…with some good support from Ned Sparks, Guy Kibbee and the ubiquitous George E. Stone.
A lot got by the censors in this film to the delight of the audience….things were tightened up the next year as the Hayes Office started cracking down. Enjoy this film…enjoy, enjoy, and enjoy!!