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Lorraine is assured a job because of her relationship with dance director Andy Lee (George E.Stone); she also sees to it that Ann and Peggy are chosen.42nd Street is a 1933 American pre-Code musical film, directed by Lloyd Bacon. The songs were written by Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (lyrics).The script was written by Rian James and James Seymour, with Whitney Bolton, who was not credited, from the 1932 novel of the same name by Bradford Ropes.With 200 jobs and his future riding on the outcome, a desperate Julian rehearses Peggy mercilessly (vowing "I'll either have a live leading lady or a dead chorus girl") until an hour before the premiere.Billy finally gets up the nerve to tell Peggy he loves her; she enthusiastically kisses him.The show's juvenile lead, Billy Lawler (Dick Powell), takes an immediate liking to Peggy, as does Pat.When Marsh learns about Dorothy's relationship with Pat, he sends some thugs led by his gangster friend Slim Murphy (Tom Kennedy) to rough him up.
Naïve newcomer Peggy Sawyer (Ruby Keeler), who arrives in New York from her home in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is duped and ignored until two experienced chorines, Lorraine Fleming (Una Merkel) and Ann "Anytime Annie" Lowell (Ginger Rogers), take her under their wing.
But in making the change, the filmmakers purposely drew attention to the censored word.
During the last two verses, Una Merkel & Ginger Rogers sing about a traveling salesman who impregnates the farmer's daughter, and then is forced into a shotgun wedding.
The film was Ruby Keeler's first, and the first time that Berkeley, Warren and Dubin had worked for Warner Bros.
Director Lloyd Bacon was not the first choice to direct – he replaced Mervyn Le Roy when Le Roy became ill.
By the time of Busby Berkeley's death in 1976, the film had become revered as the archetypal backstage musical, the one that "gave life to the clichés that have kept parodists happy", as critic Pauline Kael wrote.