Footlight Parade - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Footlight Parade Reviews

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October 4, 2014
Rapid-fire dialogue and the presence of James Cagney elevates this Warner Bros. backstage musical to perfection; Busby Berkeley production numbers include "Shanghai Lil," "Honeymoon Hotel," and the spectacular "By a Waterfall."
March 24, 2010
(First and only viewing - 6/30/2010)
July 13, 2014
Just great movie fun, with a little of everything. Spectacular show numbers.
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.
½ 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.
½ 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.
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.
May 20, 2013
Very fun movie with great musical numbers. Be forewarned, there is so period racism in the film. Well written, well acted, amazing film. Highly recommended to fans of movie musicals.
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 13, 2013
James Cagney + Dick Powell + Busby Berkeley = Hellyeah!
½ 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.
August 14, 2012
the BEST busby berkley's 3 pic 4 WB.
½ February 4, 2012
Busby Berkeley's stuff is amazing... singing, dancing,comedy and of course,wall to wall babes!
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.
½ January 21, 2012
It's not the tightest of scripts, and the pacing feels terribly off, but the performances (both musical and theatrical) are great. James Cagney is just magnificent, although I wish that he had more musical numbers.
½ November 20, 2011
An uneven film that absolutely takes off in its final third with three outstanding musical set pieces. Exquisite choreography, inventive cinematography, and infectious music breathe life into an otherwise ho-hum film. Cagney is solid, eliciting a few smiles along the way, but the first two-thirds is little more than a set up to the final sequences.
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.
July 13, 2011
The first half is rough to sit through in order to see the amazing sequences during the second half. The idea of the film is keeping live musicals going on even though talking films are becoming the new fad but Footlight Parade resorts to film gimmicks in order to show their musical numbers instead of just letting the sets and dances show what Cagney's character is trying to keep alive.
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