AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Summary View of Movie
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
42nd Street
Director: Lloyd Bacon (Dir)
Release Date:   11 Mar 1933
Duration (in mins):  89
Print this page
Display Movie Detail

Cast: Warner Baxter  (Julian Marsh)
  Bebe Daniels  (Dorothy Brock)
  George Brent  (Pat Denning)

Summary: Julian Marsh, a tough, demanding Broadway director, ignores his weak heart when he has a chance to earn money he needs desperately by directing Pretty Lady the next musical for producers Jones & Barry. The leading lady, Dorothy Brock, has been cast already by backer Abner Dillon, who is also Dorothy's sugar daddy. In a highly competitive casting call, Marsh and his stage manager, Andy Lee, audition the dancers, choosing among them Lee's girlfriend Loraine Fleming, a gold digger nick-named Anytime Annie, and newcomer Peggy Sawyer. Billy Lawler, the play's juvenile, falls in love with Peggy, but she is more impressed with Pat Denning, Dorothy's lover and ex-partner. Pat is getting tired of living in the shadow of Dorothy's life and soon leaves for Philadelphia to establish his independence. Coincidentally, the company goes to Philadelphia for its out-of-town opening. During the cast party the night before the opening, Dorothy gets drunk, fights with Pat, and in the struggle, badly sprains her ankle. The next evening, after exhausting rehearsals with Marsh, Peggy goes on in her place and is a star overnight. Now she realizes that she loves Billy, just as Dorothy admits that what she really wants is to retire and marry Pat. In the end, Marsh's finances are saved, but his accomplishment is overshadowed by Peggy's new stardom. 

Distribution Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
The Vitaphone Corp.
Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Director: Lloyd Bacon (Dir)
  Gordon Hollingshead (Asst dir)
Producer: Darryl Zanuck (Prod)
  Hal B. Wallis (Supv)
Writer: Rian James (Scr)
  James Seymour (Scr)

Subject Major: Actors and actresses
  Theatrical directors
Subject Minor: The Depression, 1929
  Financial crisis
  Love affairs
  New York City--Broadway
  Theatrical backers

Display Movie Detail
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
Advanced Search
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2017 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.