Vida Cordes

Written by Vida Cordes

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Footlight Parade is a classic Hollywood musical film that was released in 1933. Directed by Lloyd Bacon and starring James Cagney, Joan Blondell, and Ruby Keeler, this movie has stood the test of time and continues to be beloved by audiences today. Set during the height of the Great Depression, Footlight Parade tells the captivating story of struggling Broadway producer Chester Kent, who is determined to create three spectacular musical numbers to save his floundering business. Filled with catchy tunes, breathtaking dance sequences, and a dash of romance, Footlight Parade is a cinematic gem that showcases the golden age of musicals. In this article, we will delve into 31 fascinating facts about this iconic movie, providing you with a deeper understanding and appreciation for its enduring legacy. So, grab some popcorn, sit back, and let’s dive into the world of Footlight Parade!

Key Takeaways:

  • “Footlight Parade” is a 1933 musical film that became a timeless classic, inspiring future musicals and showcasing the power of art and entertainment to uplift spirits during challenging times.
  • The movie features dazzling musical numbers, intricate choreography by Busby Berkeley, and a captivating storyline set during the Great Depression, making it a must-watch for fans of classic musicals.
Table of Contents

Footlight Parade is a 1933 musical film produced by Warner Bros.

Footlight Parade is a classic musical film that was released in 1933, produced by Warner Bros. It is known for its vibrant musical numbers and stunning choreography.

The movie was directed by Lloyd Bacon.

Lloyd Bacon, a well-known director of the time, directed Footlight Parade. His expertise in directing musical films shines through in the seamless execution of the dance sequences.

The film stars James Cagney, Joan Blondell, and Ruby Keeler in lead roles.

Footlight Parade features an incredible cast, including James Cagney, Joan Blondell, and Ruby Keeler. Their performances bring depth and charm to the film’s characters.

The story follows a Broadway producer struggling to put on a successful show.

In Footlight Parade, the audience gets an inside look at the challenges faced by a Broadway producer in his quest for a hit show. It showcases the relentless pursuit of perfection in the world of theater.

The film’s most iconic scenes are its elaborate musical numbers.

One of the highlights of Footlight Parade is its extravagant musical sequences. From synchronized swimming routines to tap-dancing extravaganzas, the film showcases the incredible talent and creativity of its performers.

“By a Waterfall” is one of the most memorable musical numbers in the film.

The song “By a Waterfall” is a standout moment in Footlight Parade. Its grandiose water-themed set and intricate choreography make it a mesmerizing spectacle.

Footlight Parade was a critical and commercial success.

Upon its release, Footlight Parade was met with rave reviews and achieved great success at the box office. Its captivating storyline and unforgettable musical numbers captivated audiences and critics alike.

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Footlight Parade was recognized for its exceptional musical compositions and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. This further emphasizes the film’s outstanding musical quality.

The movie features intricate choreography by Busby Berkeley.

Renowned choreographer Busby Berkeley’s unique and imaginative dance routines are a highlight of Footlight Parade. His signature style of symmetrical formations and dynamic camera work adds a distinct visual flair to the film.

James Cagney’s energetic performance in the film is a standout.

James Cagney delivers a memorable performance as the determined Broadway producer in Footlight Parade. His charisma and energy bring an infectious enthusiasm to the screen.

The film is set during the Great Depression.

Footlight Parade takes place during the challenging years of the Great Depression, providing a glimpse into the struggles and escapism sought by audiences during that time.

The costumes in the film are opulent and glamorous.

Footlight Parade showcases glamorous costumes that are a feast for the eyes. The extravagant outfits add to the overall visual appeal of the film.

The film’s theme explores the power of art and entertainment to uplift spirits.

Footlight Parade delves into the transformative power of art and entertainment during difficult times. It serves as a reminder of the importance of creativity and imagination in bringing joy to people’s lives.

The movie features witty and humorous dialogue.

Footlight Parade’s screenplay boasts clever and entertaining dialogue that adds humor to the film’s narrative. The witty exchanges between the characters provide moments of levity amidst the challenges they face.

The film’s musical numbers were ahead of their time in terms of innovation.

The musical numbers in Footlight Parade pushed the boundaries of filmmaking at the time. Busby Berkeley’s visionary choreography and camera techniques set new standards for musical sequences in the industry.

The movie’s soundtrack is filled with catchy tunes.

Footlight Parade offers an unforgettable soundtrack with catchy tunes that will have you humming along. The songs perfectly capture the spirit of the era and enhance the overall viewing experience.

Footlight Parade inspired future musical films and Broadway productions.

The impact of Footlight Parade on the musical genre cannot be overstated. It became a source of inspiration for future musical films and Broadway productions, shaping the way musicals were made for years to come.

The film is a celebration of the art of dance.

Footlight Parade celebrates the art of dance in all its forms. It showcases the talent, precision, and beauty of dancers, emphasizing the importance of this expressive art form.

Footlight Parade captures the essence of the 1930s entertainment industry.

The film offers a glimpse into the glamorous and competitive world of the 1930s entertainment industry. It reflects the era’s obsession with spectacle and the desire to produce memorable shows.

The movie’s pacing keeps audiences engaged from start to finish.

Footlight Parade is skillfully paced, ensuring that audiences remain engaged throughout the entire film. Its seamless transitions between dialogue, musical numbers, and plot developments make for a captivating viewing experience.

Footlight Parade features impressive set designs and art direction.

The film’s set designs and art direction are visually stunning. The detailed and elaborate sets transport audiences straight into the world of theatre and provide a breathtaking backdrop for the musical numbers.

The film’s comedic moments provide a delightful balance to the dramatic storyline.

Footlight Parade strikes a perfect balance between drama and comedy. The well-timed comedic moments provide a welcome respite from the intense emotions and add a lighthearted touch to the overall narrative.

The movie explores the sacrifices and dedication required in the pursuit of artistic success.

Footlight Parade delves into the sacrifices and dedication necessary to achieve success in the arts. It highlights the relentless pursuit of perfection and the challenges faced by those in the entertainment industry.

The film showcases the importance of teamwork in creating a successful production.

Footlight Parade underscores the significance of teamwork in the theater industry. It emphasizes the collaborative effort required to put on a successful show and how each individual’s contribution is crucial to its overall success.

The movie’s opening sequence sets the tone for the rest of the film.

Footlight Parade starts with an impressive opening sequence that immediately grabs the audience’s attention. It sets the energetic and glamorous tone for the rest of the film, enticing viewers to embark on a magical journey through the world of theater.

The film’s ending leaves audiences feeling uplifted and inspired.

Footlight Parade concludes with a poignant and inspiring finale that leaves audiences with a sense of joy and hope. The uplifting ending is a testament to the resilience and enduring power of the human spirit.

Footlight Parade is a timeless classic that continues to captivate audiences today.

Although released decades ago, Footlight Parade remains a beloved classic that continues to entertain and captivate audiences of all generations. Its timeless story and dazzling musical numbers ensure its enduring popularity.

The movie received praise for its technical achievements.

Footlight Parade was not only acclaimed for its outstanding musical performances but also recognized for its technical achievements. The innovative use of camera angles and intricate editing techniques added depth and visual appeal to the film.

The film’s choreographer, Busby Berkeley, became a legendary figure in Hollywood.

Footlight Parade cemented Busby Berkeley’s status as a legendary choreographer in Hollywood. His groundbreaking work in the film revolutionized the way musicals were staged and filmed.

The movie’s success led to a string of musical films being produced in the following years.

Following the success of Footlight Parade, there was a surge of musical films being produced in Hollywood. The film’s popularity paved the way for the golden age of musical cinema.

Footlight Parade is a must-watch for any fan of classic musicals.

Without a doubt, Footlight Parade is a must-watch for any fan of classic musicals. Its unforgettable musical numbers, captivating performances, and timeless story make it a true gem of the genre.


In conclusion, Footlight Parade is not just a musical movie, but a true masterpiece that has left a lasting impact on the film industry. From its incredible choreography and dazzling musical numbers to its engaging storyline and memorable performances, this movie has it all. It perfectly captures the glitz and glamour of the 1930s Hollywood era while also highlighting the challenges and triumphs of a show business producer. If you haven’t watched Footlight Parade yet, it’s time to grab some popcorn, sit back, and immerse yourself in this timeless classic.


Q: Who directed Footlight Parade?

A: Footlight Parade was directed by Lloyd Bacon.

Q: When was Footlight Parade released?

A: Footlight Parade was released on October 21, 1933.

Q: Who are the main actors in Footlight Parade?

A: The main actors in Footlight Parade are James Cagney, Joan Blondell, and Ruby Keeler.

Q: What is the plot of Footlight Parade?

A: Footlight Parade follows the story of a struggling show business producer who tries to create elaborate musical numbers to save his career.

Q: Are there any notable musical numbers in Footlight Parade?

A: Yes, Footlight Parade features iconic musical numbers such as “Honeymoon Hotel” and “By a Waterfall.”

Q: What is the runtime of Footlight Parade?

A: Footlight Parade has a runtime of approximately 104 minutes.

Q: Did Footlight Parade receive any awards or nominations?

A: No, Footlight Parade did not receive any major awards or nominations.

Q: Is Footlight Parade considered a classic movie?

A: Yes, Footlight Parade is widely regarded as a classic movie due to its timeless appeal and significant influence on the musical genre.

Q: Where can I watch Footlight Parade?

A: Footlight Parade can be streamed on various digital platforms or purchased on DVD.

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