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TCM Greatest Classic Films CollectionóBusby Berkeley Musicals: Dames; Gold Diggers of 1937; Footlight Parade; 42nd Street

Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, Ginger Rogers, Joan Blondell & others. Lloyd Bacon & Ray Enright, directors.
Studio Warner Bros.
Format 4 cutout DVDs Full screen/Closed Captioned
DVD Encoding
Region 1: North America  (What is DVD encoding?)
MPAA Rating
Not Rated
UPC 883929095551
Runtime/Release Date 6 hrs 24 mins/2010
Daedalus Item Code 48177
This item is not available.
Before there was Baz Luhrmann there was Busby Berkeley, whose creatively staged and filmed musical extravaganzas have to be seen to be believed. First up is double Oscar nominee 42nd Street (1933), in which Ruby Keeler taps, Dick Powell croons, Ginger Rogers quips, and Berkeley imaginatively depicts the title tune and "Shuttle Off to Buffalo." That same year in Footlight Parade, James Cagney's troupers roared through Chicago to stage same-night shows in different venues. Highlights include Powell and Keeler meeting "By a Waterfall" and Cagney seeking "Shanghai Lil." In 1934's Dames, Powell sings the beautiful standard "I Only Have Eyes for You" to Keeler, while Berkeley's bravura creations include a subway dream and a showgirl finale. And in the Oscar-nominated Gold Diggers of 1937, insurance peddler Powell asks a fetching Joan Blondell to imagine how life would be "With Plenty of Money and You." There's razzle-dazzle aplenty too, with Berkeley's precision-formation number "All's Fair in Love and War."

"One of the movies' most feverishly inventive minds was set loose during the Great Depression at Warner Bros., where choreographer Busby Berkeley (1895Ė1976) enlisted that studio's great technical facilities and pool of musical talent to create numbers that dazzled escapism-hungry audiences. Berkeley, born in Los Angeles, was a top Broadway dance director before being imported to Hollywood by producer Samuel Goldwyn in 1930. Extravagant and erotic, his mass choreography for such Warner Bros. movies as 42nd Street (1933) and Dames (1934) had moviegoers bug-eyed. Berkeley was not only an inspired choreographer but a daring technical innovator. Best-known of all his effects was the 'Berkeley top shot,' where he literally took the camera through the soundstage roof to create his trademark overhead view of dancers in kaleidoscopic patterns."óTCM Profile

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