Starring: Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, George Brent, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, Ginger Rogers
Director: Lloyd Bacon & Busby Berkeley (Musical Numbers)
Summary: A director puts on what may be his last Broadway show, and a major complication at the last moment threatens to ruin everything
Other nominations: Sound Recording
-Warner Baxter is great as the director who feels at all times like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, and became the archetype for demanding broadway director characters afterwards
-The choreography is extremely impressive and is lightyears ahead of the other musicals that had come out up to this point, with the title song that caps off the film being outright spectacular. Additionally, the musical numbers are all shot and staged really, really well; this film saved the movie musical, and these are the reasons why.
-I haven’t mentioned him before, but the always entertaining character actor George E. Stone shows up again here-his 6th film already that he has a bit part in so far (7th Heaven, The Racket, Cimarron, The Front Page, Five Star Final, now this).
-Anytime Baxter isn’t on screen, the movie takes a big nosedive, as the other actors are mediocre and the story and other characters are dull and uninteresting
-While the title number is great, the rest of the songs don’t do anything for me and feel antiquated
-While this is the movie that started most of these cliches, this movie is extremely predictable and feels routine if you’ve seen any other musicals/movies that take place backstage during the production of a musical
42nd Street is known as a classic movie musical and I can see why fans of the genre like it, with its strong choreography and at least one great number that caps the whole film off. However, there’s quite a few dead spots where the movie drags and I lost interest in all the other characters besides Baxter’s. Overall, it’s solid but I didn’t love it or anything.