Sunday, 25 September 2011

Old Movie Madness: Footlight Parade (1933)

Oh, I so wanted to enjoy this* - I've been saving it as I was so certain that I would but gawd, what a crock!  I can barely bring myself to write anything about it as nothing actually happens.  So here goes...sigh.

Now, I'm not a big musical fan anyway - this may have been my mistake - but I had heard so many good things about this movie that I was expecting something wonderful.  Sadly I was very much mistaken.

The film tells the story of Chester Kent, a director of Broadway musicals, whose career is being threatened by the introduction of talking pictures and so decides to branch out into prologues - short musical numbers to be performed before a film.  He has lots of ideas and a glamourous secretary, Nan Prescott (Joan Blondell). 

Of course (of course) Nan is desperately in love with him and he just doesn't see it.  This is the cliche the entire film is built around.  All that really happens is that he writes scenes, someone steals them and Nan moons about acting bitterly toward any other woman that goes near him.  Ugh.

Anyway, eventually he writes something half decent and gets a job and realises he loves Nan too, end of story.

Instead of having a real storyline the film is around 70% made up of overlong musical numbers.  these would have been fun had they not gone on for what seemed like hours.  I know a Busby Berkley film is going to be full of dance routines, but really, a 20-odd minute synchronised swimming scene, really? I had to fast forward through it.

I have nothing more to say - here are some pictures:

Yawn.  I'm bored again, off to have a bath and practise my synchronised drowning.

* This review may have been slightly affected by me having the flu, and thus the attention span of a goldfish.


  1. I actually quite like Footlight Parade, but I agree that the musical numbers are way too long.

  2. 20 minutes of synchro?? Blimy, did he have shares in Speedo or something? My eyes are stinging just thinking about it.