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Big screen classics

42nd Street

This seminal backstage musical boasts lavish, lurid Busby Berkeley sequences of spectacular, innuendo-laden extravagance.

Image from 42nd Street

USA 1933
Dir Lloyd Bacon
With Warner Baxter, Ruby Keeler, Bebe Daniels, Dick Powell
Certificate U

This seminal putting-on-a-show backstage musical is less memorable for its thin story (a young understudy gets her big break when covering for the temperamental diva) than for its sassy songs, and Busby Berkeley’s dazzlingly choreographed dance sequences – all lavish, lurid spectacle and mischievous innuendo. The petty rivalries in the plot can’t compete with the togetherness celebrated in the extravagant mise-en-scène.

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