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42nd Street (DVD)
"You're going out there a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!" The film that launched the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals, 42nd Street traces the creation of a Broadway show from its first casting call through its blockbuster opening night--when the leading lady twists her ankle and a young chorus girl (Ruby Keller) takes her place and becomes a star. Starring Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell, and featuring Ginger Rogers and choreography by Busby Berkley.]]>
- Vintage Featurette Harry Warren: America's Foremost Composer
- Vintage Featurette Hollywood Newsreel
- Vintage Featurette A Trip Through a Hollywood Studio
- Notes on Busby Berkeley
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What makes the show rise above a lot of similar period pieces is that Baxter's producer Julian Marsh doesn't "fall for" Keeler's sweet Peggy Sawyer, but openly exploits her attraction to him to bring her up to speed as the show's star when Daniels breaks her leg the day before Opening Night. He's a rat, but a refreshingly honest one - he flat-out tells her why he's making her fall for him as he uses her, and why she needs to let it happen if she's going to be a successful leading lady. It's that bracing cynicism, overlaying the very real stakes of the show needing to be a hit so the entire company can have a job for the year or more, that makes this musical closer to CABARET, done over thirty years later, than to most other movie musicals.
The sound and image are as good as I've seen for this movie, which I first saw during the short-lived "Benson & Hedges 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time" mid-1970s promotion, where they struck fresh prints of the best available elements from the films they chose, and showed them as Midnight Movies in major cities and college towns.
Very Highly Recommended - if you love Musicals, or Classic American Movies, you owe it to yourself to see this.
This classic DVD features extras like three vintage featurettes about "Harry Warren: America's Foremost Composer," "Hollywood Newsreel," "A Trip Through a Hollywood Studio" and "Notes on Busby Berkeley." The DVD could have used some current footage on how this film influenced a hit Broadway musical complete with dancing and singing. If you love Broadway musicals, you have to see the original "42nd Street" and wondered why it took 47 years to come back to Broadway.
Most recent customer reviews
"42nd Street" is one of those formula rival substitutes for the overbearing star formula chorus line movies that you see...Read more