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42nd Street (1933)

“42nd Street” is one of the most successful musicals ever produced in Hollywood. It was made at the Warner Bros. Studios and its cast includes some impressive names: Bebe Daniels (looking outstandingly beautiful and charming), Ruby Keeler (famous singer and dancer), Ginger Rogers (in a sophisticated and elegant role, with monocle and all!), Warner Baxter (as the ambitious Broadway producer who wants to fulfill his dream of making a remarkable musical), George Brent (very young, dashing, and without a moustache), and Dick Powell (one of the most appreciated actors in Hollywood). The musical numbers are really great, with lots of visual effects. “42nd Street”, just like “Gold Diggers of 1933”, is one of the most beloved musicals filmed in the early sound era in Hollywood. I find both of them very enjoyable and you will certainly spend a wonderful evening watching them. But, returning to “42nd Street”, you will certainly observe that it’s very realistic when it comes to starlets. Young, beautiful girls, with nice faces and nice legs, who must work very hard, who must strive to earn a living in entertainment — some of them preferring the easiest way, that is to sleep with an old producer in order to get the better part and to become “the star of the show”. So, “42nd Street” is not an idealistic musical (like the Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire classics). It reveals facts of life in showbiz and I find it all the more fascinating. I highly recommend you to watch this film because you will find it very interesting and very representative for those difficult years of economic crisis that affected the late 20s and the early 30s. “42nd Street” also earned two Oscar nominations, for Best Picture and Best Sound, Recording, and it’s one of the most treasured musicals in Hollywood, just like “Yankee Doodle Danding”.