John Landis on

42nd Street

Released 1933
Distributor Warner Bros.

Produced in the midst of the great depression, director Lloyd Bacon’s pre-code crowd-pleaser doesn’t ignore the grim cloud hanging over the country. The film’s dramatic elements could easily have tipped over to tragedy but Bacon’s choreographer (and unofficial co-director) Busby Berkeley devised a series of phantasmagorical dance sequences (including the 20 minute finale) that transported the downcast ticket-buyers of 1933 to a happier place (at least for 89 minutes). Starring Warner Baxter, Dick Powell and a dazzling Ginger Rogers.

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About John Landis

John Landis is the director of Animal House, The Blues BrothersAn American Werewolf In LondonTrading Places, Schlock, Kentucky Fried MovieSpies Like UsThree Amigos!Into The Night, The Stupids, Innocent Blood, Coming To America, Burke & Hare, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Black Or White among many other films, commercials and extensive work in television. He was the Executive Producer and often director of HBO's celebrated series Dream On, and contributed two movies to the Masters of Horror series, Deer Woman and Family. His feature length documentaries Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project premiered on HBO, and Slasher on IFC.