Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Footlight Parade(1933). Musical film starring James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell and featuring Frank McHugh, Guy Kibbee, Hugh Herbert and Ruth Donnelly. The movie was written by Manuel Seff and James Seymour from a story by Robert Lord and Peter Milne. It was directed by Lloyd Bacon.
The spectacular Busby Berkeley musical numbers, written by Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (lyrics) and Sammy Fain (music) and Irving Kahal (lyrics), include "By a Waterfall", "Honeymoon Hotel", and "Shanghai Lil".
Musical Producer Chester Kent, finds himself out of work because of the popularity of talking pictures. His wife leaves him when he tell her the news. He convinces his two partners, Sy Gould and Frazer, to help him in producing, live performances to be performed before the movies are shown.
As soon as Chester thinks up ideas, Gladstone, is always one step ahead of him. Also, his partners are cheating him out of his share of the profits. His only friend seems to be his secretary, Nan Prescott, who is in love with him. But, he is in love with Vivian Rich, a gold digging actress. The theater owner Appolinaris, promises that if Chester can come up with three new shows in three days, he will hire him.
Chester, locks everyone in the studio to prevent any leaks. The first two shows are a big success. Then at the last minute, Chester has to go on as the lead in the last one because the star is drunk. He performs well and lands the contract.
Film debut of Dorothy Lamour.
Footlight Parade, showcases Busby Berkeley's extravaganzas, that are so creative and fun to watch. Also, James Cagney, shows his versatility as a dancer as well as a tough guy. Dick Powell, sing three songs in Footlight Parade, Ah the Moon is Here, Honeymoon Hotel and By a Waterfall, the last two with Ruby Keeler. Ruby, also partners with James Cagney in, Shanghai Lil. One of Blondell's best screen roles. Also, look for Dorothy Lamour and Ann Sothern in the chorus. John Garfield, is also seen very briefly in the Shanghai Lil number.