42nd Street Response

12 Dec

42nd Street

                 A depression-era movie, 42nd Street tells the story of a young girl, Peggy, fresh from a small town arriving in New York hoping for her big break.  Peggy meets the director, Julian Marsh, who offers her an audition.   When the principal actress is injured, Peggy assumes the leading role.  This musical presents both perspectives of the story.  It is a typical musical showing what an audience traditionally sees.  At the same time, it chronicles backstage life and the struggles of show business.  All of this occurs against the backdrop of a love story which, as expected, ends well with a “happily ever after” feel.


How is 42nd Street realistic? How does it compare to other musicals you might have seen? And do you prefer realistic musicals or more fantastic, escapist musicals? Why? (There are no wrong answers).


Certainly, the backstage version of 42nd Street is realistic because it shows the hard work and less-than-glamorous aspects of making a musical.  The façade of the main house and ticket stubs is presented as just that – unreal.  This movie was considered “cutting edge” for its time because of the change in perspective.  One of the innovative techniques used by filmmakers includes a flexible, moving camera.  Musicals prior to this had been shot in a single frame and appeared much like a live show.  Additionally, the movement between the front and back of the house give this movie both a realist and escapist aspect.  Sometimes audiences want a little bit of an escape to combat the realism of life.


One Response to “42nd Street Response”

  1. lordbyrne December 21, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    10/10. JB.

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