...BACK from GingerFest 2018!!!

...of course it was a BLAST! A great time meeting fellow Gingerologists and discussing Ginger with... well, other Gingerologists!!! Marge and Gene Padgitt did an incredible job with the proceedings, lined up awesome speakers, and of course Roberta was incredible as well!!! Hope to see y'all there next year!!!

This Day in GINGEROLOGY - July 21st

1973: Ginger is on the panel of judges in the Miss Universe contest, held in Athens, Greece; Miss Philippines Margarita Moran won.

1975: Billy West (born Roy B. Weissburg), who starred with Ginger in the films “Gold Diggers of 1933” (as Medal Winner in ‘Remember My Forgotten Man’ Number), and “Twenty Million Sweethearts” (as Bellboy), died in Hollywood, California, at the age of 82.

2010: TCM aired “Perfect Strangers”.

2015: TCM aired “Star of Midnight”.

2017: TCM aired “Lucky Partners”.


Next GingerFilm(s) (on TCM - all times Eastern):

July 22, 2018 @ 6:30 A.M. Fifth Avenue Girl
July 27, 2018 @ 9:30 A.M. Roberta

Next GingerFilm(s) (on FXM Retro - all times Eastern) - NOTE - the FXM Retro site is kinda 'cryptic' as far as specific times, so please check local listings for 'specific times':

...No Films Scheduled...


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ginger Rogers Film Review #12 - 42nd Street

(March 11, 1933 - Warner Brothers / Vitaphone)

Run Time (approximate): 89 Minutes 
Directed by: Lloyd Bacon.
Produced by: Darryl F. Zanuck.  
Scenarists: James Seymour, Rian James and Whitney Bolton. 
Based on the novel Forty-second Street by: Bradford Ropes.
Cinematography by: Sol Polito.
Music: Al Dubin (lyrics), Harry Warren (music), Ray Heindorf (arranger), Leo F. Forbstein (conductor, Vitaphone Orchestra).
Choreography: Busby Berkeley.
Also Starring: Warner Baxter (as Julian Marsh), Bebe Daniels (as Dorothy Brock), George Brent (as Pat Denning), Ruby Keeler (as Peggy Sawyer), Guy Kibbee (as Abner Dillon), Una Merkel (as Lorraine Fleming), Ned Sparks (as Thomas Barry), Dick Powell (as Billy Lawler), Allen Jenkins (as Mac Elroy), Edward J. Nugent (as Terry Neil), Robert McWade (as Al Jones), George E. Stone (as Andy Lee); 
UNCREDITED CAST: Harry Akst (as Jerry), Loretta Andrews (as Chorus Girl), Joan Barclay (as Chorus Girl), Louise Beavers (as Pansy - Dorothy's Maid), Lynn Browning (as Chorus Girl), Edna Callahan (as Chorus Girl), Maxine Cantway (as Chorus Girl), Wallis Clark (as Doctor Chadwick), Virginia Dabney (as Chorus Girl), Mildred Dixon (as Chorus Girl), Al Dubin (as 'Stout' Songwriter), Ruth Eddings (as Chorus Girl), Patricia Ellis (as Secretary), Renee Evans (as Extra on Stage), Patsy Farnum (as Chorus Girl), Dixie Francis (as Extra on Stage), June Glory (as Chorus Girl), Mary Halsey (as Chorus Girl), Shep Houghton (as Chorus Boy), Ann Hovey (as Chorus Girl), George Irving (as House Doctor), Alice Jans (as Chorus Girl), Evelyn Joice (as Chorus Girl), Gertrude Keeler (as Chorus Girl), Helen Keeler (as Chorus Girl), Tom Kennedy (as Slim Murphy), Milton Kibbee (as News Spreader), Margaret La Marr (as Chorus Girl), Jack La Rue (as Mug with Murphy), Adele Lacy (as Chorus Girl), Charles Lane (as Author of 'Pretty Lady'), Lorena Layson (as Chorus Girl), Eve Marcy (as Chorus Girl), Kermit Maynard (as Chorus Boy), Clarence Nordstrom (as Groom in 'Shuffle Off to Buffalo'), Dave O'Brien (as Chorus Boy), Dennis O'Keefe (as Chorus Boy), Agnes Ray (as Chorus Girl), Donna Mae Roberts (as Chorus Girl), Barbara Rogers (as Chorus Girl), Cliff Saum (as Dimmer Board Operator), Rolfe Sedan (as Extra on Stage), Harry Seymour (as Aide), Jayne Shadduck (as Chorus Girl), The Sizzlers (as The Singing Policemen), Lyle Talbot (as Trailer Narrator (voice)), Grace Tobin (as Chorus Girl), The Village Barn Hill Billies (as Themselves), Henry B. Walthall (as Concerned Actor), Harry Warren (as 'Short' Songwriter), Dorothy Coonan Wellman (as Chorus Girl), Dorothy White (as Chorus Girl), Renee Whitney (as Chorus Girl), Pat Wing (as Chorus Girl), Toby Wing (as Blonde in 'Young and Healthy').       

Ginger's Character: Ann "Anytime Annie" Lowell.
Ginger's 'Screen Time': Approximately 6 Minutes and 30 Seconds (7.3% of the film).
GingerTunes: "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" (two stanzas with Una Merkel); a few lines of "It Must Be June", without much feeling..."...what do ya want me to do, bite my nails?"
Gingery Goodness Factor (GGF) - (1-10): 9.0 - The MOST Sassy Ginger has been to this point of her career, and some awesome (but short) scenes - Una Merkel plays a great 'bud' for Ginger's Annie, and together they reel off some VERY neat moments.
Film Quality (1-10): 9.0 - Warner Brothers did a great job of restoration of the 'film that saved them'.
Available From: Warner DVD, TCM also airs it pretty regularly.
Huey's Review for GINGEROLOGY: Ginger's first movie of 1933 was definitely not her last of 1933 - she made at least nine that year (the release dates-production dates vary a bit). But as far as 'overall movies' go, this one was the best of the bunch - yes, better than Gold Diggers of 1933 and Flying Down to Rio (both of which, of course, have their 'watershed' Ginger moments...). 
Ginger's portrayal of 'Anytime Annie' Lowell is by far her most 'animated' role to date, as she has a wisecracking confidence about her that just jumps off the screen. In her first moments at the 'casting call', she hurls that classic retort to an uppity 'chorus prospect': "It must have been hard on your mother, not having any children". This alone is fair warning that Annie will prove to be a defining role for Miss Rogers.
The story itself is pretty familiar, as a Broadway production company headed by Thomas Barry (Ned Sparks) gets bankrolled by fat cat Abner Dillon (Guy Kibbee) to produce a new musical, to be handled by the famous director Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter). Dillon's 'ulterior motive' (isn't that always the case?) for ponying up the clams is to 'create' a vehicle for his sweetie, actress Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels). SOOOOO, the casting call is on, and we meet multiple prospects, including 'newbie' Peggy Sawyer (Ruby Keeler), 'juvenile lead' Billy Lawler (Dick Powell), and 'sidekick to Annie' Lorraine Fleming (Una Merkel). Ginger and Una really work well together, and they honestly should have been paired up in a few more films...
Well, there's always a fly in the ointment, so to speak, and this circus has its version in the form of Pat Denning (George Brent); his back story has Miss Brock figuring VERY prominently in it, to the point of his hanging around outside the stage door to meet up with her...she still has feelings for him as well, and they crank their relationship back up, as best they can without Sugar Daddy Dillon finding out. 
Of course, with Dorothy favoring Pat, she ends up 'cold shouldering' Abner, to the point of having a 'falling out' with him - in a drunken stupor, Abner declares he wants Dorothy out of the show, or he pulls his backing and goes back to the barn. Ironically, Dorothy busts up her ankle while 'scuffling' with Abner, and is sidelined for the opening night in Philly. 
Julian Marsh patches things up with Mr. Dillon and his dead presidents (well, a few were still cooking back in the 30's, I guess), and keeps the show afloat...financially, anyway. But who is to fill Dorothy's spot in the title role? Well, Annie jumps on Abner when she finds out Dorothy is on the outs with him (well, no doubt Annie was 'upwardly mobile'!) - and, she talks Daddy A into letting her take the lead role... but when she meets with Marsh, she pulls the ol' "bait and switch" and endorses Peggy for the role instead... of course, Marsh takes her up on the suggestion, and the rest, they say, is history. 

Favorite Ginger Moments: Well, there's just not really ANY moments that aren't awesome regarding Ginger, so...let's just plow through the screen caps, shall we?

 ...Annie shows up incognito, as some prim and proper-ish English Dame... with the lap-dawg, WAAAY before Paris Hilton toted one... The monocle is quite memorable, but...it does 'detract' just a bit from those awesome peepers of hers... 

 ...case in point - a very cute expression, but...ya know, I guess it isn't TOO big a deal... AND, it was Ginger's idea, so...I'm cool with it, y'all...

 "Anytime Annie"...I think she got that moniker because she was so punctual, right?  

 "...I'm having so much trouble with my cabana boy lately...whenever I'm laying out by the pool, he always falls in the drink whenever he gets near me...but he is proficient otherwise..."

 ...wait for it...
 ...BOOM!!! Ya know, that chick may have not even HAD a mama... her kind just 'show up' every now and then, and invariably serve as GingerFodder...
 just an observation...it would have been funny if Ginger would have put the 'spare' monocle in her other eye... Una could have pointed it out, and Ginger could have 'adjusted' accordingly... just a thought...still pretty incredible, regardless.

 This is really the funniest point of the whole movie - just before this, Peggy (Ruby Keeler) barges into the line next to Lorraine, who asks Peggy if this is her first tryout...Peggy says yes, and babbles on about a few other things, with Lorraine being all nice about it... but then Lorraine turns to Annie, nods towards Peggy, and just hangs her mouth open with a dumbfounded look which indicates that Peggy is a 'newbie'...and Annie gives a hilarious 'double-take' and just sighs... well, it really doesn't sound all that funny, but it IS, y'all...just watch it fer yourself... 

 ...but Peggy falls in pretty quick with these two, who decide to take her under their wings, so to speak...

 "...if you can hold a little dawggie like me, you're a shoo-in, kid..."

 "...speaking of which, hold little Huey for me, Jasper... I've got gams to be ogled..."

 Even Ginger can't help this tune be sassy...

 ...on a side note, I'm digging the suspenders here...

 ...is it just me, or does the dude in the back look like a slightly balding Lew Ayres?
 Ginger 'on the line'... woah, I just noticed that top of hers...or lack thereof... woah...
 Philadelphia, eh? Well, the girls seem at best nonplussed by this turn of events...

 Lil Abner takes pause when Annie address him, as any dude with the sense God gave a mule would do...Ginger plays 'being tight' pretty well in this scene, especially since she never actually imbibed in real life.

 Annie rocking her new Sugar Dad-dee... and rocking those feathers...ostrich, perhaps?

 Annie relinquishing the lead to Peggy... hey, she's in high cotton (or feathers, I guess) with Abner now, anyway... but a selfless gesture, nevertheless. Annie proves to be a pretty good ol' girl, y'all!

 On with the show... "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" is nothing short of perfect, with Ginger and Una really cranking it out...my fave scene overall, no doubt...

 "They'll have apples and bananas, for the little Pollyanna, up in Buffalo..."
...that's not a real line from the song, but I just made it up...you know, one of those "11:30 P.M." epiphanies... but I think Ginger would like it, no?

 Wouldn't it be cool to have the actual apple core and banana peel shown in this scene? I know, another late night pontification gone awry...

 Rare is the lady that is still beautiful when smirking... and holding an apple core...

 ...AND flying around with goop all over her face... y'know, as weird as it sounds, THIS cap would make for a pretty neat 'poster pic'... glamorous? nope... but QUITE Gingery...

 ...Ginger just radiates here...sigh... hey, that's a weird little varmint she has draped around her... guess this can be filed under "Ginger in Fur pics"... and there's something about those hand thingies - muffs, I believe they are called... SO cool!  And Dick Powell - I've never thought about it, but they may have been an OK couple...you see more of their 'chemistry' in 20 Million Sweethearts, which is a bit down the road, review-wise...

 Ginger seems to be really getting into the 'chorus girl' role...you GO, girl! :-) ...I dig this pic cause all of the ladies are in sync, foot-wise... and since Ginger is in it, of course, duh...

This get up is quite 'gaudy', but, it's for the 'gaudy' 42nd Street number, so there you go... and yes, I would EAGERLY be Annie's personal dawg-walker, y'all... I also love it when Ginger has her hands on her hips...that's a sassy alert, y'all!

Other Reviews:  
"She got her movie start in Young Man of Manhattan, and though she had plenty of movie work after that, her career didn't seem to be getting anywhere - until Forty-Second Street came along. She popped a monocle in her eye and ran off with the show, along with Ruby Keeler." - Movie Classic
"Ginger Rogers is cute as a chorus girl who affects an English accent and a monocle. Una Merkel is quite funny as another chorus girl." - New York Sun
"One may wish that it were funnier and not quite so conventional as to story without overlooking the quiet charm of Miss Ruby Keeler, the attractive playing of Miss Bebe Daniels and the nonchalant gayety of Miss Ginger Rogers...Miss Rogers, in a minor role, is both amusing and attractive." - New York Herald Tribune
"Guy Kibbee, Una Merkel, Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers are all swell." - Modern Screen

From GINGER: My Story: "As Annie, I assumed a broad accent and wore a monocle. The monocle was my idea, and it caught the public's eye. 42nd Street remains one of the great Hollywood "backstage" musicals, and I was part of it because I listened to Mervyn (LeRoy's) good counsel. My one beef concerning 42nd Street has to do with its effect on the subsequent interpretation of my career. Reporters who do little research about my background often refer to me as a former chorus girl. I haven't anything against chorus girls and I wouldn't mind if that were the reality, but 'tain't true!"
Miscellaneous Stuff:  
--- The film was nominated for Best Picture of 1933, but lost to Cavalcade.
--- (From my Ma): Don Hewlitt, the executive producer of 60 Minutes for years, said he remembers going to see 42nd Street at the theater as a boy and wanting to grow up to be just like Julian Marsh, a great Broadway producer.
--- Ruby Keeler made her film debut.
--- Ginger's beau Mervyn LeRoy was originally tapped to direct the movie, but illness forced him to decline, and thus Lloyd Bacon stepped in - who just happened to have directed Ginger in her previous film, You Said a Mouthful.
--- Henry B. Walthall, who was the "Concerned Actor" when Peggy Sawyer passed out during rehearsals, originally had a larger role, which apparently culminated in his character dying on the rehearsal stage; however, most of his scenes were cut from the final film.
--- Warner Brothers sent an actual train they dubbed 'The 42nd Street Special' from Hollywood to New York City, having loaded it with many of their contract players to appear on stage after the movie premiered at the Strand Theater on March 8, 1933; these stars included Joe E. Brown, Tom Mix (and his horse), Bette Davis, Laura Le Plante, Glenda Farrell, Lyle Talbot (the only one here that actually had anything to do with the movie), Leo Carrillo, Claire Dodd, Preston Foster, and Eleanor Helm.
--- The finale (42nd Street) includes a 'street scene' with one of the stores named Reticker's; This was a reference to Hugh Reticker, Warner Brother's art director since its inception; Reticker was not credited for any of his work (most likely including the art/scenery for this movie), until a few years after 42nd Street.
--- Ginger's main competition for the role of Annie was Joan Blondell, who, strangely enough, co-stars with Ginger in the next two films on the list, Broadway Bad (for Fox) and Gold Diggers of 1933 (for Warner Brothers / Vitaphone). 
--- The opening credits copyrights the film for 1933 (MCMXXXIII), but the closing credits state it as being made in 1932 (MCMXXXII). 
--- IMDb notes that a digitally restored AND colorized version of the movie was recently released.
--- A Broadway musicial of the movie premiered on August 25, 1980; it ran for 3,486 performances, good for tenth longest running show on Broadway; It also won the 1981 Tony Award for Best Musical.

GingerFilm Ranking: #1
After Twelve Reviews:  
#01 - 42nd Street  
#02 - The Tenderfoot 
#03 - The Tip-Off
#04 - Queen High
#05 - Young Man of Manhattan
#06 - You Said A Mouthful
#07 - Carnival Boat
#08 - The Thirteenth Guest
#09 - The Sap From Syracuse
#10 - Suicide Fleet
#11 - Follow The Leader
#12 - Honor Among Lovers
#13 - Hat Check Girl***
*** - Not viewed due to unavailability.

Up Next: Broadway Bad  - Starring Joan Blondell and Ginger Rogers as chorus girls (there's that typecasting again...sorry, Ginger) who are best buds; Joan's character has a child and a fat cat hubby, but is worried the child will be affected by his carousing ways..so she wants to break away from him, and somehow balance her career with being a mama as well... with some drastic turns along the way. It seems like Ginger is on the periphery in this one, so it might not fare all that well on the Ging-o-meter... but we shall see.

Until then...

KIG, Y'all!!!


  1. Haha, I was looking forward to this one!

    Well, you solved it gallantly. I know this picture like my own pants pockets, for I saw it dozens of times, and pondered it hundreds of times.
    And...goody-goody, I feel fairly at home if I look over your article -- containing exactly those screenshots you were supposed to shoot, in order to make me feel good. :o)

    Ginger's character is the type of goodhearted alpha-girl. You know, someone who is strong and self-confident, but using her strength mainly for good things. I met people like this in real life. It gives me a good feeling to know, the world isn't ruled by just the evil.

  2. Ginger and her Abner....must have been pretty common during the depression : going with the much older man, just to survive. It's merely funny in real life, but here it is:
    What hilarious punishment for the old womanizer, being her dog-walker for the rest of his days (above all in winter when it's cold)! LOL

  3. Thanks, Clarissa! I was wondering how this one would fare against her previous films, since the few times I've watched it, it seemed like she wasn't in it that much... but she really has a pretty fair role in it, and every frame she IS in, she is lighting it up! There is honestly not a second where she isn't being 'maximum Ginger'. Some of her previous roles may have had more 'screen time' for her, but plenty of that was just as the 'love interest', which is fine in and of itself, but...her role here was the 'breakout' she had been looking for.
    And the movie as a whole does play real well...for some reason, I have watched Gold diggers of 33 repeatedly (must be the opening number that draws me in... :-] ) - but it honestly does not have much Ginger after the first 10 min or so... sad they didn't add her 'torch song' number also... as a result, 42nd Street is well over '33'... now, 'Rio' will be an interesting review, as, again, it isn't 'wall-to-wall' Ginger - Fred, but what IS there is obviously quite special... so it should fare well in the rankings...

    Well, heck, sorry I'm at a loss for words, CS! :-] I am getting jazzed about the Independence trip...leaving out Thursday morning... hope to have plenty of 'updates' en route, now that my wife has an iPhone...

    KIG, CS!!!

  4. I am a little puzzled over why Ruby Keeler got the lead female role in this film and not Ginger.


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Hometowns to Hollywood Busby Berkeley Blogathon 2018

Hometowns to Hollywood Busby Berkeley Blogathon 2018
...including the Gingerology entry of 'Gold Diggers of 1933'...