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42nd Street

Warner Baxter , Bebe Daniels , Lloyd Bacon    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.95
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Set during the depression, this is the granddaddy of backstage musicals in which the understudy finally gets a chance to shine. It may seem a little cliché now, but in 1933 this was hot stuff. All that behind-the-scenes atmosphere feels very genuine, and the script is more acerbic than you might expect.

A sickly Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter) puts his all into what may be his last show, only to face a disaster when leading lady Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels) sprains her ankle. Thank heavens for ingenue Peggy Sawyer (Ruby Keeler), who steps in at the last minute. The vivacious soundtrack includes "Shuffle off to Buffalo," and the still-catchy title tune. Best of all are those extravagant, kaleidoscopic dance numbers by Busby Berkeley, then in his prime. --Rochelle O'Gorman


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Monumental Musical Oct. 14 2000
Format:DVD
Maybe in the fast paced world of the 21st Century this old time musical may seem corny and passe, but to fans of early musicals, "42nd Street" is the single musical which would define the genre for decades to come. Most musicals prior to "42nd Street", didn't even have a plot, but after this film movie musicals were elevated to an artform.
The print on this DVD copy is absolutely flawless. It is truly hard to believe that the original movie came out in 1933. The movie draws you into the lives of the players, all trying to produce a successful Broadway show. The whole cast is noteworthy and includes some of Hollywood's best like:Dick Powell,Ruby Keeler,Warner Baxter,Ned Sparks,Ginger Rogers, and Una Merkel among others. Throw in the score by Harry Warren and Al Dubin and you certainly have a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.
The DVD copy has over 30 minutes of added attractions as well. The one short included is a gem of Harry Warren singing his own tunes. The other short is an interested look from 1934 into what goes on in a Hollywood studio. Also included is the original trailer to "42nd Street". If you are a fan of great musicals, this one should certainly be in your library...
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4.0 out of 5 stars The musical that started it all! Feb. 14 2014
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Great production numbers. Nice to see acting the way it was meant to be. The old understudy does well story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars silver screen at its very best April 29 2002
Format:DVD
I AM A SUCKER FOR ANYTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH BUSBY BERKELEY AND HIS DELICTABLE CHORUS OF BEAUTIFUL LADIES.UNFORTUNATELY "42ND STREET" IS THE ONLY DVD THAT I CAN GET HOLD OF WITH REFERENCE TO BUSBY BERKELEY.TWO OF HIS "THE GOLDIGGERS FILMS" HAVE ELUDED ME THUS FAR - MAYBE SOME OF THE REVIEWERS OUTTHERE IN AMAZON.COM LAND COULD HELP ME OUT WITH DETAILS OF WHERE I CAN GET THE GOLDIGGER FILMS.42ND STREET IS BY FAR (IN MY OPINION) ONE OF BUSBY'S BEST MOVIES, WITH POSSIBLY THE FIRST GOLDIGGER COMING A CLOSE SECOND.THE MAN WAS WAY, WAY AHEAD OF HIS TIME IN DANCE ROUTINES AND THE SPECTACULAR STYLE OF HIS SETS.IT'S A CRYING SHAME THAT HE DIDN'T GET THE RECOGNITION HIS SO RICHLY DESERVED SO THEREFORE I AWARD HIM THE "JIMBO" FOR SERVICES TO MOTION PICTURES.I BET HE'S DANCING THE LIGHT FANTASTIC WITH ALL HIS GALS - UP THERE IN HEAVEN.IF ONLY THERE WAS ANOTHER BUSBY - I SUPPOSE ONE CAN DREAM !!!1JAMES BYRNE
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, cheeky early musical Aug. 18 2011
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This has it's a lot of fun moments, including 15 minutes worth of terrific,
over-the-top Busby Berkeley dance numbers, some snappy, sexy pre-code
dialogue, and impressive early use of crane shots.

Yes, it's mostly awkwardly acted. And the whole thing is a string of clichés
from start to finish. But, this film helped establish those clichés, and is pretty
darn enjoyable in a corny, silly way.

Many critics consider it a classic, and it is indeed important in Hollywood history.

That said, I can't quite bring myself to say "classic", but I did smile a lot, especially
on 2nd viewing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars You are going out as a youngster... July 2 2006
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
But you've got to come back as a star!

"42nd Street" is one of those formula rival substitutes for the overbearing star formula chorus line movies that you see over and over. However it is old enough that this could have been the prototype for such movies as "Down to Earth" (1947). This must have been made shortly after talkies appeared ad they advertise it as one of the best movies since Warner Brothers made talkies. The story was adapted from a novel by Bradford Ropes.

It is interesting to see all the references to the "Great Depression" in the script and even the music.

A cute chorus girl Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels) smarms an old rich coot into financing a musical comedy and making her the star. The producer Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter) is economically poor due to the depression and has a nerves condition that makes this his last and imperatively good production. Others in the production range from old troopers to firs timers.

Most of the film is constant practicing in the day and deceit in the evening.

This film is good enough to place names next to the pictures of the actors and you will recognize many personalities form the period for example:

Warner Baxter

Bebe Daniels

George Brent

Ruby Keeler

Guy Kibbee

Una Merkel

Ginger Rogers

Ned Sparks

Dick Powell

Allen Jenkins

Edward J. Nugent

Robert McWade

George E. Stone

There are many good Songs peppered throughout the film such as:

"It Must Be June"

"Shuffle Off to Buffalo"

"Young and Healthy"

"42nd Street"

If you cotton to Harry Warren songs you may want to find the album "The Song Is Harry Warren"

We can all sit back with your popcorn and become part of 42nd street.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very funny June 9 2004
Format:DVD
this is one of my all time favorite movies. I think that the humor is wonderful, and the cast, sining and dancing are just fine. Ruby Keeler is simply adorable as Peggy Sawyer, Bebe Daniels is rightly used as the fading star, Warner Baxter, Ned Sparks, and Guy Kibbee make the most of their parts. Una Merkel is ducky as wisecracking Larraine, and a scene stealing Ginger Rogers is a gem. ALthough I loved her in dramatic roles, stright comedy, and with Fred Astaire, there's something about the way she examplifies a wisecracking-secondlead-chorine that is just so wonderful. I believe that this is one of Ginger's best performances, that goes for the whole cast. A similar film with mostly the same cast, (Ginger, Guy, Ned, Ruby, and Dick Powell, and chorus dancers) and the same famous Busby Berkeley overhead shots, watch Goldiggers of 1933. I think that these two are some of the funniest musicals ever made.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is "getting to be a habit with me"!
42nd STREET is an absolutely wonderful film! This landmark in the history of movie musicals remains fresh and timeless. Read more
Published on Aug. 14 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Broadway Musical: 42nd Street!
If you only ever see one Broadway play in your life, it'd better be 42nd street! It's jam-packed with tap dancers, songs, and oodles of pretty girls! Read more
Published on July 16 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
The trouble with the word "classic" is that it becomes applied to films that don't deserve it. Perhaps that's a little harsh, but after watching 42nd Street, that's what came to... Read more
Published on April 2 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars My Two Cents
I love old movies. Can't get enough of them. That being said I was impressed by this film. The plot is merely a vehicle for the songs(which I can't stop singing)and the dance... Read more
Published on March 21 2003 by Anita
2.0 out of 5 stars It has its moments, but falls flat
... what really redeemed the 42nd st film version for me was the many moments it shook off the constraints of following the play and used the medium of film to its advantage. Read more
Published on Feb. 6 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars "Come and meet,,those dance'n feet!"
It doesn't matter if it's 1933 or 2002 this is the grand daddy of all musicals and the beginning of some Broadway hits like "42nd Street" and "Dames At Sea". Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2002 by Rick D. Barszcz
5.0 out of 5 stars This Was The Musical That Saved Musicals For 2 Decades!
This was the film that saved musicals, Thanks to Busby Berkeley. This film is certainly a musical classic. This is the film that saved musicals thanks to Busby Berkeley. Read more
Published on May 13 2002 by MeMyselfandI
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare To Be Dazzled With This 1933 Classic.
42nd Street is the story of Peggy Sawyer, a young inspiring actress, who ends up auditioning, and starring as a chorus girl in a new musical called "Pretty Lady",... Read more
Published on March 3 2002 by Bob Smith
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