By J. Hoberman
From Amazon: "Six days earlier than the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, Warner Bros accomplished capturing on a new-style musical. Hard-bitten, fast paced, jam-packed with gritty realism concerning the melancholy and frank approximately intercourse, forty second highway used to be within the leading edge of Warners's 'New Deal in Entertainment'. Its plot is sheer cliché: a behind the scenes tale within which, ahead of establishing evening, the megastar breaks an ankle, the younger understudy is going on and turns into an in a single day sensation. What retains the motion picture clean sixty years later is the snappy discussion, really good performances from Ruby Keeler, Ginger Rogers and a bunch of Warners agreement gamers, and in particular the delirious dance workouts of the incomparable Busby Berkeley. J.Hoberman's description of the movie catches its mix of New Deal optimism and showbiz brashness, and areas them expertly within the context of Hollywood's try and come to phrases with tough times."
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Extra info for 42nd Street (BFI Film Classics)
When Cohan, who led the march, entered the new Monastery he thre w the key into the street to symbolize that the building would never be closed-then got locked out. Nah, he made it inside and hosted a banquet where over five hundred Friars attended . " Only there doesn't seem to be any mention of that event in any of the Club's archives, so I guess everybody forgot about it. ) The new Monastery boasted a wonderful, state-of-the-art gymnasium. Friar Bob Edgren, who was apparently the chairman of the Gymnasium Committee around 1916-17, couldn't boast enough about this place.
Herbert, Hammerstein, Enrico Caruso, and Irving Berlin were all given the Friars' highest shout-out. At Berlin's Dinner, George M. Cohan said, "Irvy writes a great song. He writes a song with a good lyric, a l)'lic that rhymes; good music, music you don't have to dress up to listen to , but it is good music. He is a wonderful little fellow, wonderful in lots of ways. He has become famous and wealthy, without wearing a lot of je\velry and falling for funny clothes. He is uptown, but he is there with the old downtown hard shell.
Charles Emerson Cook came up with a solution though-when you can't speak it, sing it. Cook wrote words and Herbert added the music to what became the Friars own song, Here's to the Friars. When the moment of truth came and Herbert rose from his place on the dais, he turned his back on the audience, to the bewilderment of everyone in the room , and faced the stage located directly behind the dais. If they didn't choose Friars Club as the name, perhaps they should have considered Drama Club because nothing was done without flaunting and embellishing and using larger-than-life actions.
42nd Street (BFI Film Classics) by J. Hoberman