Busby Berkeley Collection (Vol. 1)
  • Busby Berkeley Collection (Vol. 1)
  • Busby Berkeley Collection (Vol. 1)

Busby Berkeley Collection (Vol. 1)

Cast: Busby Berkeley

     
 

The quintessential "backstage" musical, 42nd Street traces the history of a Broadway musical comedy, from casting call to opening night. Warner Baxter plays famed director Julian Marsh, who despite failing health is determined to stage one last great production, "Pretty Lady." Others involved include "Pretty Lady" star Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels); Dorothy'sSee more details below

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Overview

The quintessential "backstage" musical, 42nd Street traces the history of a Broadway musical comedy, from casting call to opening night. Warner Baxter plays famed director Julian Marsh, who despite failing health is determined to stage one last great production, "Pretty Lady." Others involved include "Pretty Lady" star Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels); Dorothy's "sugar daddy" (Guy Kibbee), who finances the show; her true love Pat (George Brent); leading man Billy Lawlor (Dick Powell); and starry-eyed chorus girl Peggy Sawyer (Ruby Keeler). It practically goes without saying that Dorothy twists her ankle the night before the premiere, forcing Julian Marsh is to put chorine Peggy into the lead: "You're going out there a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!" Delightfully corny, with hilarious wisecracking support from the likes of Ginger Rogers, Una Merkel, and George E. Stone, 42nd Street is perhaps the most famous of Warners' early-1930s Busby Berkeley musicals. Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes (which was a lot steamier than the movie censors would allow), 42nd Street is highlighted by such grandiose musical setpieces as "Shuffle Off to Buffalo," "Young and Healthy," and of course the title song. Nearly fifty years after its premiere, it was successfully revived as a Broadway musical with Tammy Grimes and Jerry Orbach.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Intended as escapist fluff for Depression-weary 1930s audiences, the elaborate Warner Brothers musicals were eventually acknowledged as genre touchstones, thanks mainly to the imaginative staging of their production numbers by choreographer/director Busby Berkeley. A veteran of the musical stage who migrated to Hollywood with the coming of sound, he was the first in his profession to fully exploit the visual possibilities offered by film, and he employed daring cinematic devices to create effects no Broadway audience could ever see from orchestra seats. Complex tap routines, outlandish props, stark lighting, kaleidoscopic patterns, and dizzying camera movement set Berkeley's musical extravaganzas apart from others produced in the early years of talkies. Warner Home Video has collected the very best of these films and painstakingly restored them from original film elements for this box, including 42nd Street (1932), Footlight Parade (1933), Gold Diggers of 1933, Dames (1934), and Gold Diggers of 1935. The backstage plots are pleasantly corny and the casts offer some surprises -- erstwhile screen tough guy James Cagney as a nimble-footed hoofer, Titanic grande dame Gloria Stuart as a dewy-eyed ingénue -- but those elaborate production numbers remain the real drawing cards. The "Lullaby of Broadway" sequence from Gold Diggers of 1935, for example, still takes one's breath away with its borderline-nightmarish narrative and Expressionistic flourishes. The box set's extras include newly prepared featurettes explaining Berkeley's working methods along with vintage cartoons and short subjects. A 163-minute bonus disc, originally released on laserdisc in 1992, collects nearly two dozen classic Berkeley dance sequences, some from films not yet available on DVD.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/21/2006
UPC:
0012569678460
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Sales rank:
30,298

Special Features

Closed Caption; 5 New documentary featurettes; 13 Original-era shorts; 9 classic cartoons; Radio promos; Trailer galleries

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- 42nd Street
1. Chapter 1 [1:21]
2. Chapter 2 [1:52]
3. Chapter 3 [2:57]
4. Chapter 4 [2:17]
5. Chapter 5 [4:06]
6. Chapter 6 [2:24]
7. Chapter 7 [4:31]
8. Chapter 8 [5:19]
9. Chapter 9 [2:29]
10. Chapter 10 [4:04]
11. Chapter 11 [4:38]
12. Chapter 12 [1:02]
13. Chapter 13 [2:37]
14. Chapter 14 [2:45]
15. Chapter 15 [2:46]
16. Chapter 16 [5:09]
17. Chapter 17 [2:37]
18. Chapter 18 [2:41]
19. Chapter 19 [4:45]
20. Chapter 20 [2:40]
21. Chapter 21 [3:18]
22. Chapter 22 [1:30]
23. Chapter 23 [2:15]
24. Chapter 24 [2:14]
25. Chapter 25 [5:26]
26. Chapter 26 [4:23]
27. Chapter 27 [5:48]
28. Chapter 28 [1:04]
Disc #2 -- Gold Diggers of 1933
1. Credits [1:00]
2. We're in the Money [2:42]
3. The Depression, Dearie [4:17]
4. Dibs for Dress-Up [2:01]
5. The Shadow Waltz (1) [2:28]
6. I've Got to Sing a Torch Song [5:23]
7. A Show But No Money [3:28]
8. Money Man [5:21]
9. pettin' in the Park (1) [1:26]
10. Trixie's Suspiciom [2:03]
11. Opening Night Substitute [3:58]
12. Pettin' in the Park (2) [7:48]
13. Gold Diggers Present and Past [4:44]
14. Parasitic Showgirls [4:51]
15. Double Hat Trick [4:49]
16. Attack of Chiseling [2:18]
17. Two Fannys [3:56]
18. Let's Dance [3:29]
19. All a Misunderstanding [2:11]
20. Sleeping in Her Bed [4:42]
21. Change of Heart [3:33]
22. True Love [4:49]
23. The Shadow Waltz (2) [6:34]
24. Three Happy Couples [2:20]
25. Remember My Forgotten Man [7:06]
Disc #3 -- Footlight Parade
1. Credits [2:00]
2. Out of Work and Wedlock [3:39]
3. Chester Kent Prologues [4:24]
4. Mrs. Gould's Protégé [3:56]
5. Catty Complications [4:00]
6. Wet-Nursing [3:42]
7. Vivian's Outline [5:05]
8. Styles and Ideas [5:25]
9. Ah, the Moon Is Here [4:09]
10. All Business [2:47]
11. Sittin' on a Backyard Fence [4:54]
12. Musical Comedy Ideas [4:43]
13. You've Got a Job [2:39]
14. Three-Day Lockdown [4:24]
15. Couple of Holdout [1:07]
16. Watery Inspiration [4:08]
17. I'm the Dealer [2:55]
18. Francis' Last Straw [2:13]
19. Honeymoon Hotel [2:02]
20. By a Waterfall [9:33]
21. Stage Fright [11:10]
22. Shanghai Lil [2:29]
23. Wedding Idea [11:01]
Disc #4 -- Dames
1. Credits [1:16]
2. The Way to Ezra Ounce [3:26]
3. Ounce Family Tree [3:48]
4. When You Were a Smile on Your Mother's Lips [2:38]
5. Sleeping in Horace's Bed [6:33]
6. Sales Pitch [4:21]
7. DS = Drug Store [1:53]
8. I Only Have Eyes for You (1) [2:14]
9. Alcoholic Contentment [3:02]
10. The Nerve of Mabel [3:43]
11. Try to See It My Way (1) [2:46]
12. Girded for Battle [3:20]
13. Wind in the Pipes [4:02]
14. Out of the Closet [1:22]
15. Backing Out the Backer [5:12]
16. Handling Barbara and the Press [2:43]
17. Opening Night [5:10]
18. The Girl at the Ironing Board [7:31]
19. I Only Have Eyes for You (2) [11:03]
20. Dames [10:58]
21. Try to See It My Way (2) [1:01]
22. The Signal [2:15]
Disc #5 -- Gold Diggers of 1935
1. Credits [1:33]
2. Wentworth Plaza Preparations [3:16]
3. Their Cuts [3:01]
4. The Prentiss Family [5:19]
5. Snuffing Out Thorpe [3:26]
6. Mosey Woos Ann [3:29]
7. Paid Escort [3:48]
8. I'm Going Shopping With You [5:48]
9. Such a Director [3:18]
10. No Honor Among Crooks [3:35]
11. The Words Are in My Heart (1) [4:14]
12. The Show Must Go On [1:54]
13. More Cutting Remarks [4:37]
14. Humble in Love [1:37]
15. Someone They Like Better [2:07]
16. Rehearsal Intrigues [4:24]
17. Secretarial Schemer [3:30]
18. Money Mismanagement [4:10]
19. Mother's Marriage Vow [2:41]
20. The Words Are in My Heart (2) [8:15]
21. See You on the Front Page [2:32]
22. Meet the Missus and the Press [1:55]
23. Lullaby of Broadway [13:57]
24. Doctor in the Family [2:02]

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