The University of Wisconsin Press

Film Studies


42nd Street
Edited by Rocco Fumento

Wisconsin/Warner Bros. screenplay series

This screenplay of 42nd Street, along with Rocco Fumento's thorough and engrossing introduction, takes the reader behind the scenes to see how the Warners studio took a dismal novel and, working within severe financial constraints brought on by the Great Depression, turned out a smash musical hit.

42nd Street is a watershed film, one that resuscitated the Hollywood musical during troubled times. Yet 42nd Street wasn't merely a Depression tonic, its multiple plot line was half-comic, half-serious. It was a fast-paced, energetic, and the first musical not to shrink away from the fact that a Depression was going on. The film is an odd, and oddly successful, fusion of the real with the fantastic.

Wisconsin/Warner Bros. screenplay series
Tino Balio, series editor

Rocco Fumento, associate professor of English at the University of Illinois, Champaign–Urbana, is an especially qualified guide to this film. Both an aficionado and a teacher/scholar of film, he is also an accomplished creative writer. Tino Balio, Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is the author of United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars, United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry, and the editor of The American Film Industry as well as the 22 volume Wisconsin/Warner Bros. Screenplay series, all published by the University of Wisconsin Press. He directed the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theatre Research from 1966 to 1882.

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the cover of 42nd street features a black and white photography of a large musical number.

December 2005

LC: 80-005106 PN
200 p
p.   5 1/2 x 8 1/2
27 illus.

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Paper $24.95 x
ISBN 978-0-299-08104-1
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