Footlight Parade

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  • G
  • 1933
  • 1 hr 44 min
  • 7.5  (6,013)
  • 80

Footlight Parade is a 1933 musical film that is directed by Lloyd Bacon and produced by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film stars James Cagney, Joan Blondell, and Ruby Keeler. The film is set in New York City and tells the story of Chester Kent (Cagney), a Broadway producer who is struggling to keep his business afloat during the Great Depression.

The film opens with Kent discovering that his leading lady, Mona Marshall (Claire Dodd), is pregnant. This news is devastating to Kent, as he cannot afford to pay her and her understudy. In an effort to save his business, Kent comes up with a new idea - a series of musical numbers that are designed to be performed in movie theaters before the feature film begins.

Kent's new business plan is initially met with skepticism from his assistant, Nan (Blondell), and his songwriter, Scotty (Dick Powell). However, after seeing the success of their first number, the team gets to work on a larger production, "The Beauty Parade." This production is a huge success, but Kent must once again come up with a new idea to save his business from ruin.

Realizing that the public is becoming increasingly interested in dance marathons, Kent decides to create a new production centered around them. With the help of songwriter Harry Warren, choreographer Busby Berkeley, and dance director Lloyd Bacon, Kent puts together the musical sequence, "By a Waterfall," which is hailed as one of the greatest dance sequences in film history.

Throughout the film, Kent is also dealing with personal issues. He is in love with his assistant, Nan, but she is engaged to another man. Additionally, he is dealing with the demands of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Mona. Despite these challenges, Kent remains determined to save his business and create the best productions possible.

Footlight Parade is known for its elaborate dance sequences, particularly "By a Waterfall." The sequence features dozens of synchronized swimmers and is a dazzling display of Busby Berkeley's innovative choreography. The film also features catchy songs, including "Honeymoon Hotel," "Shanghai Lil," and "Sittin' on a Backyard Fence."

In addition to Cagney, Blondell, and Keeler, the film also features performances by Guy Kibbee, Frank McHugh, and Hugh Herbert. The film was a commercial success upon its release and helped to solidify Cagney's stardom. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording.

Overall, Footlight Parade is a fun and entertaining film that showcases the talents of its cast and crew. With its catchy songs and dazzling dance sequences, it's a must-see for fans of the musical genre.

Footlight Parade is a 1933 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 80.

Footlight Parade
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 44 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (6,013)
  • Metascore