A landmark film directed by Lloyd Bacon with musical numbers by Busby Berkeley, 42nd Street is the archetypal back-stage musical. Contains the dangerously tuneful You are Getting to be a Habit with Me, Shuffle off to Buffalo and of course 42nd Street.
When revered Broadway director Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter) falls on hard times with both his health and his finances, he helms an ambitious musical as a final production before his retirement. His lead actress, Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels), is torn between two loves–the show’s wealthy backer, Abner Dillon (Guy Kibbee), and the earnest but penniless actor Pat Denning (George Brent) –while aspiring young performer Peggy Sawyer (Ruby Keeler) waits in the wings, hoping for her big break.
Screening as part of BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery, BFI Film Audience Network and ICO.