Footlight Parade (EOTWS)

End Of The Week Shorts #7.3 extract: Footlight Parade (1933)


Footlight Parade is a fun picture of two parts; there's the narrative and then there are the musical set-pieces - and they have absolutely nothing to do with one another. In such, this film builds towards theatrical performances that a group of dancers struggle to put on under the management of Jimmy Cagney's Chester Kent. With the finale, in which we see three performances put on in one night, we jump into sequences that are never mentioned, practised or even hinted at at any point during the narrative. This is a monolithic plot hole, one that is formally projected as a movie sequence, not even nearly a theatrical performance. 
Does this really matter though? Nah. 
The three musical sequences are a dazzling spectacle of choreography and movement - especially the water sequence, which is truly phenomenal. And the narrative that precedes this is light-hearted and enjoyable with well-constructed characters - though, not the strongest plot. 
So, whilst I wouldn't say this is a masterpiece (maybe the water sequence is), Footlight Parade is a pretty good movie and lots of fun.

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