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Footlight Parade Reviews

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Super Reviewer

August 10, 2009
fun and funny musical with cagney and dick powell. mindblowing busby berkeley numbers in the second half. the last one includes an opium den. also i think joan blondell called claire dodd a bitch :O

Super Reviewer

July 15, 2009
Everybody is full of boundless energy and the musical numbers are truly awesome.
Jennifer X

Super Reviewer

October 18, 2008
Out of Busby Berkeley's early trifecta this is easily his weakest of his plots, but the most imaginative of the musical numbers. But give me the gritty, earthy tap dancing to ridiculous water-sprite synchronized swimming anyway. Doesn't James Cagney remind you of Orson Welles sometimes?
March 29, 2014
This classic Warner Brothers musical is the third and last of 1933 to be choreographed by Busby Berkeley, and he does a bang-up job. The musical numbers are so elaborate and unique that it is amazing the man pulled all of this, "42nd Street" and "Gold Diggers of 1933" in one year. This was probably my favorite of the three films because James Cagney gives such a great performance in the leading role. He is charismatic and fast paced and holds the whole picture together, even if none of the songs are as good as "We're In the Money" or "42nd Street". Classic Hollywood in it's finest form.
December 8, 2013
Only interesting in the last 3rd of the film when it gets to the real musical numbers. The water sequence is pretty amazing for 1933, something they won't get back to until Ester Williams in the 50's; it's ridiculous that we're supposed to believe it's all happening on a theater stage (as a "prologue" show before a movie no less), but it doesn't truly matter. This is probably the least impressed I've been with Cagney, but I think it's a fault on the script and not on his acting or potential charisma, the movie unfortunately just fails to utilize Cagney's full potential.
December 17, 2012
Choreography is top notch here with good music and a decent story. If you like it 42nd Street is more of the same. Fountain scene alone is worth it.
January 30, 2012
It is quite long and fast-paced, which creates the illusion that it lasts for hours. If you're watching it and about to give up - just wait. There's a BIG visual feast in store for you in the last half hour that you can't help but enjoy.
September 6, 2008
good stuff once thought to contain the first screen appearance of john garfield but that is NOT the case though the guy sure looks alot like him.
May 8, 2010
Eh, thought the story was average at best but the synchronized swimming is pretty spectacular, so that's worth a half star I guess.
August 5, 2009
Cagney plays a director like a gangster.... what a song and dance man. It's been years since I've seen it but after watching it just now it's still as much fun as I remember. The Shanghi Lil dance number with Cagney on the bar shows off his unique dance style and the Busby Berkeley overhead kaleidoscope dance shots are just amazing. Joan Blondell is at her smart talking best and Guy Kibbee is always a joy. Hugh Herbert twiddles his fingers for some amusing moments as well.
July 29, 2009
Wow, I was expecting just another run of the mill 30s musical, but no! This film seemed way too unique. With Cagney in the lead showing off his feet a decade before Yankee Doodle Dandy, how could you lose? It had great numbers and all around pre-code greatness from Busby Berkley!
May 17, 2009
The final musical numbers will knock your socks off. Also some of the fastest talking you'll hear (along the lines of West Wing).
April 19, 2008
Cagney is truly magic in this film! I had no idea and was just astounded at his foot work! He started out in Vaudelville and it shows in this unforgettable film. Truly magical, wonderful chemistry and characters. Busby Berkeley's three numbers at the end are just some of the best musical stage work I've ever seen. I can't believe that this is 60 years ago. Every film lover MUST see this film classic!!
February 23, 2008
James Cagney is a producer of musical numbers, joan Blondell plays his sensative, but very funny secretary, Frank Mchugh even has a terrific dance number, in this one.
Busby Berkley goes nuts with a water number, Dick Powell is singing and Dancing all over the place,
Ruby Keeler and James Cagney do "Shanghai Lil" here, which is not only one of the greats, but it is the one and only John Garfield movie appearence until almost 10yrs later, see if you can find him, he's a sailor in the number.
July 13, 2014
Just great movie fun, with a little of everything. Spectacular show numbers.
May 11, 2012
Although extremely fast-paced and sometimes confusing to follow, Footlight Parade is still before it's time in cinema. Catchy musical numbers and work from a talented James Cagney made this film really something.
June 24, 2013
Here is another Busby Berkeley spectacular from Warner Brothers. This time, Jimmy Cagney plays the musical theatre impresario who is on the ropes, struggling to stay in business against competition from the new rage of "talkies" that has eliminated the audience for musicals. So, he creates "prologues" (basically song and dance numbers) to run before the film and he rolls these out across the country using performing "units". Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell are here to sing and dance and there is the usual bevy of showgirls. Oddly, the Berkeley numbers are saved for the final 30 minutes and they are pretty great (and somewhat lewd) as usual; all symmetrical designs formed by arms and legs and shot from above to look like flowers and even patriotic symbols. Cagney can dance (as later displayed in Yankee Doodle Dandy) but I still prefer Gold Diggers of 1933.
September 16, 2012
towards the end it becomes incredibly hard to sit through. leading up to that, "footlight parade" isn't terrible, but it's also not good enough to make up for it's overly long and boring conclusion.
October 30, 2012
Cagney's theatrical acts are impressive and its musicale is vividly entertaining.
August 15, 2012
This is an example of one of those "super cutesie" type of flicks. Every character is loveable and silly in their own way. Though the Busby Berkeley dance numbers aren't the best, the achievement of complexity and style is still in others choreographers left field.
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