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Footlight Parade  /  This Way Please

Footlight Parade
June 12, 2016 - 7:00 pm

Footlight Parade  (1933)

Famed for “backstage” musicals, Warner Bros. upped the ante with this racy feature framing an alliance between live performance and cinema, on a scale only possible in the movies.  Erstwhile Broadway producer Chester Kent (James Cagney) produces live “prologues” before motion pictures, navigating prickly romance and professional rivalries along the way.  The film climaxes in a cavalcade of jaw-dropping production numbers presenting a delightfully overblown fantasy of actual exhibition practice.

35mm, b/w, 104 min.  Production: Warner Bros.  Distribution: Warner Bros.  Producer: Robert Lord.  Director: Lloyd Bacon.  Screenwriter: Manuel Seff, James Seymour.  Cinematographer: George Burns.  Art Direction: Anton Grot, Jack Okey.  Editor: George Amy.  Cast: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, Frank McHugh.

This Way Please  (1937)

This musical comedy presents a starstruck movie theater usherette with dreams of singing and dancing, and romanced by the house bandleader.  An onstage-offstage courtship ensues, and while theater management notice and exploit the chemistry between the two entertainers, the cinema setting becomes practically an incidental backdrop; as much a place of in-house intrigues as a temple of cinematic raptures.

35mm, b/w, 75 min.  Production: Paramount Pictures.  Distribution: Paramount Pictures.  Producer: Mel Shauer.  Director: Robert Florey.  Screenwriter: Grant Garett, Seena Owen, Howard J. Green.  Cinematographer: Harry Fischbeck.  Art Direction: Hans Dreier, Jack Otterson.  Editor: Anne Bauchens.  Music: John Leipold.  Cast: Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers, Betty Grable, Ned Sparks, Jim Jordan, Marian Jordan.

Preceded by:

Movie Pests  (1944)

Producer Pete Smith presents this hilarious taxonomy of those irritants in the dark, from manspreaders to obnoxious eaters, as they existed circa 1944—including appropriate payback! 

16mm, b/w, 10 min.  Producer: Pete Smith.  Director: Will Jason.  Screenwriter: Harry Parke, Joe Ansen.  Cinematographer: Jackson Rose.  Art Direction: Richard Duce.  Editor: Philip W. Anderson.  Cast: Pete Smith (narrator), William Bailey, Margaret Bert, Heinie Conklin, Ben Hall.

Reginald Denny Announces “Greater Talkie Movie Season”  (1930)

35mm, b/w, 4 min.