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Footlight Parade (1933)

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3:16 | Trailer
Chester Kent struggles against time, romance, and a rival's spy to produce spectacular live "prologues" for movie houses.

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writers:

Manuel Seff (screen play), James Seymour (screen play)
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3,195 ( 11,045)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... Chester Kent
Joan Blondell ... Nan Prescott
Ruby Keeler ... Bea Thorn
Dick Powell ... Scotty Blair
Frank McHugh ... Francis
Guy Kibbee ... Silas Gould
Ruth Donnelly ... Mrs. Harriet Gould
Hugh Herbert ... Bowers
Claire Dodd ... Vivian Rich
Gordon Westcott ... Thompson
Arthur Hohl ... Frazer
Renee Whitney ... Cynthia Kent
Barbara Rogers ... Gracie
Paul Porcasi ... Apolinaris
Philip Faversham ... Joe Grant
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Storyline

Chester Kent produces musical comedies on the stage. With the beginning of the talkies era he changes to producing short musical prologues for movies. This is stressful to him, because he always needs new units and his rival is stealing his ideas. He can get an contract with a producer if he is able to stage in three days three new prologues. In spite of great problems, he does it. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Climaxing Warner Bros.' glittering parade of musicals! See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

21 October 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A rivalda fénye See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$703,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The actress who successfully auditions in the "Ah the Moon is Here" number is Gracie Barrie. She is not credited but a 1933 press release identifies her. See more »

Goofs

The newspaper claims that Honeymoon Hotel has "400 rooms, 400 baths," and yet later we see all guests of each floor disappearing into a single bathroom on each floor. See more »

Quotes

Policeman: Mr. Kent, seeing all these girls gives me a lot of ideas.
Chester Kent: And don't let them keep you awake.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wild Boys of the Road (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Ah! The Moon Is Here
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Irving Kahal
Played briefly on piano after Kent puts Scotty in the Cat unit
Performed by Frank McHugh and Dick Powell, also by three members of the Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Historically significant film....
24 January 2006 | by deuchlerSee all my reviews

"Footlight Parade" is fascinating on so many levels. There is no way the supposedly staged "theater prologues" could have been produced in any theater on earth, of course. Think of the huge pools and three-story tall fountains for "By A Waterfall," for instance. (Berkeley directed John Garfield in "They Made Me a Criminal" six years later and had the Dead End Kids singing "By a Waterfall" as they took their showers.)

"Shanghai Lil" is the best production number in the picture. It's a catalog of '30s Warner Bros. sensibilities. Note the African guys mixed into the scene with white and Asian prostitutes. You would never see blacks integrated into a social scene in other films of the period unless they were porters on a train or maids in a big house. Here the black guys are sitting at the bar and singing with the others. I also get a thrill when the military dancers do a "card section" presentation of Roosevelt's image. There's also the NRA eagle--the logo of the controversial National Recovery Administration of the New Deal. FDR was the new president and hopes were so high that he'd pull the nation out of the Depression. You'd never see something so working class oriented coming out of MGM, of course. Warner Bros. wholeheartedly supported the uplift dictated by the F.D.R. administration.

Dear little Miss Ruby Keeler was never better than she is playing the Chinese hooker, "Lil." She hardly even watches her feet as she dances, which was one of her signature flaws.

The Pre-Code stuff is fun. The "By a Waterfall" number is wonderful in that regard. The girls change into their bathing suits on the crowded bus speeding through Times Square with all its lights on. The spread-eagle girls swimming over the camera provide the kind of crotch shots that would not be seen for 35 years. In a few months the Production Code would eliminate such naughty pleasures.


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