42nd Street Play Analysis

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42nd Street vs. Gold Diggers of 1933 42nd Street directed by Lloyd Bacon (1933) and Gold Diggers of 1933 directed by Mervyn LeRoy (1933) are both musicals that deal with putting on a show during the depression while also dealing with personal relationships with not only lovers but fellow actors and friends as well. While these two movie musicals do have things in common, such as cinematography, plot lines, and editing, they also have differences. 42nd Street stars Peggy, a young girl fresh on Broadway. She shows up to auditions hoping to get cast in the chorus of the Pretty Lady‘s Company and doesn’t make it. Luckily, there was a mistake in casting and they are short a girl. Billy, the show’s male lead, points out Peggy, asleep backstage…show more content…
Dorothy realizes that the situation is dangerous and unwise to continue and tells Pat they should call it quits. Then, the night before the show opens, Dorothy breaks her ankle and is unable to take the stage. The director almost calls it quits, but one of the actresses suggests using Peggy in Dorothy’s place. The show goes on and Peggy is a hit. Similar to 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933 focuses on the theatre business. But unlike 42nd Street, which focuses on a single show, Gold Diggers of 1933 focuses on three main chorus girls: Polly, Trixie, and Carol. At the beginning of the movie, a show is being rehearsed. Then, men from the sheriff’s office come in and begin to take the set away. When Barney Hopkins, the director, asks what they are doing, the men reply that there are too many unpaid bills and everything is being shut down. This leaves the three main girls with no job and a near eviction. While in their apartment, the girls complain about how hard it is to find a job because of the depression. In fact, Gold Diggers of 1933 makes many references to the depression, continuously commenting…show more content…
42nd Street explores this theme by placing Dorothy in a relationship with the production’s financial donor. If he isn’t happy with Dorothy, as seen in a scene near the end of the film, he threatens to pull his money, which would mean the end of the show. Gold Diggers of 1933 shows the theme by having one production shut down due to lack of finances and having another struggle to go up for the same reason. The two movies also use the same dramatic plot convention of an almost disastrous night where the lead cannot take the stage. In the end, it is our protagonists who must take the stage and save the
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