Footlight Parade

Synopsis: Chester Kent produces musical comedies on the stage. With the beginning of the talkies era he changes to producing short musical prologues for movies. This is stressful to him, because he always needs new units and his rival is stealing his ideas. He can get an contract with a producer if he is able to stage in three days three new prologues. In spite of great problems, he does it.
Director(s): Lloyd Bacon
Production: Warner Bros.
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
104 min

- What a laugh.

- Yeah?

- Yeah, it doesn't mean a thing.

- They laughed at Edison, too.

Looks like I'm an assistant

to a guy out of a job.

You remember when mahjong

was popular, don't you, Harry?

- So what?

- It's a fad.

I've staged 50 musical comedies

and I'll stage 50 more.

I hope you're right.

Frazer and Gould are putting

Never Say No into rehearsal...

and I'm doing the numbers.

- Am I going with you?

- If they don't run out of ink. Let's go.

- Hiya, Kent.

- Hello, boys.

When does Never Say No

go into rehearsal?

Chester, it don't. You can't give

the public what they don't want.

- What show are you gonna do?

- No show if we're in our right mind.

People ain't paying for shows no more.

Talking pictures is what they want.

So, it don't mean a thing, huh?

Plays is a dead issue.

We're in the picture business, exhibitors.

Yeah, we just bought four houses.

They deliver the show in tin cans

and we got nothing to worry about.

So musicals are out, huh?

Yeah, come on around the corner

and I'll show you why.

Yeah, come on around the corner

and I'll show you why.

There's the answer.

It's a lot better to fill your theater

10 times a day at 40 cents a ticket...

than to charge $5 a seat

and have it half-filled once a night.

- Yeah, if you're lucky.

- Come on, I'll show you.

Won't last.

Excuse me, Zeke, official business.

From now on, he'll be getting plenty

of orders, but they won't all be by wire.

- Here's your answer.

- Oh, well, no matter.

I'm so proud of you, John.

So, you're in the picture business, hey, Si?

Who's that, Whistler's mother?

There's competition.

We're booking a house down the street.

So we give them a little prologue

to fit the picture.

What's the picture, Uncle Tom's Cabin?

We're showing Slaves of the Desert.

So we put on something oriental

to fit the plot.

That prologue wouldn't fit anything

but an ash can.

Just the same,

it costs more than the picture.

Say, why don't you let me put on

some of those prologues for you?

- No, no. No more prologues.

- No more prologues, Chester.

That oriental flesh is too expensive.

After this, we're giving our customers

talking pictures and nothing else.

Well, so long.

I gotta break the bad news to the wife.

Red line, I hear you calling me.

Public wants talking pictures

and talking pictures only.

Listen, what you better do

is get yourself another job.

Maybe I haven't made myself

understood, honey.

They're not doing

any more musical shows.

I always said they'd catch up with you.

Is it my fault if somebody invented

talking pictures?

I don't care whose fault it is.

It's time you earned some money.

I'm used to good clothes

and everything that goes with it.

- Well, haven't I always given you...

- Yeah. What goes with it.

Listen, I'm fed up with you

and I have been for a long time.


- What shall we do about it?

- I'll show you.

Here, sign that and I'll be

tickled to death to get a divorce.

- You sure this is the way you want it?

- Absolutely.

Well, that's that.

Here's your aspirin, 18 cents.

Say, how do you do it?

The place next door charges a quarter.

Yeah, but he's on his own.

We got 100 stores.

- What does that mean?

- We buy in big lots.

When you're buying for one store,

you get soaked.

When you're buying for 100...

I see, practically name your own price.

That's it.

Say, that's marvelous.

The chain store idea solves everything.

Thanks a million.

- Hey, your aspirin!

- Take it yourself. My headache's gone.

Come on, Al.

Listen, boys, I just bought some aspirin.

- Drunk again?

- No, listen to this, listen to this.

When you've got one drugstore,

you charge 25 cents for aspirin.

But when you're buying for 100 stores,

you get it for less.

- So you sell it for 18 cents.

- So what?

So your house, I mean,

your store is crowded.

That's great, Chester, old boy.

That's a marvelous idea.

Well, don't you get the connection?

Yeah, we'll use it.

If we ever open a drugstore.

No, listen. When you put on

one prologue, it's too expensive.

But when the same prologue

plays 25, 50, 100 houses...

it doesn't cost a cent more, get it?

- We might have something there.

- Yeah?

No, the same scenery, same costumes,

put them on once and they stay put on.

But we've only got four theaters.

Play them all over Chicago,

all over the country.

Exhibitors everywhere will be tickled pink

to get ready-made prologues.

- How do you know?

- It's a cinch.

You can give them swell prologues...

cheaper than they can

put them on themselves. Why?

Because you're

in the chain store business.

- Si, he's right.

- No question about it.

Boys, your name'll be in lights

from the rock bottom coast of Maine...

to the sunny strands of California.

You'll have to wait a minute.

Will you take a seat, please?

Good morning.

- How about a job, Miss Prescott?

- See Arnold, the casting director.

- Any mail?

- Nine out-of-town calls.

Only nine? We must be slipping.

- Hello.

- Good morning.

- Is the boss in yet?

- I haven't seen Mr. Kent this morning.

- Maybe you blinked and missed him?

- Possibly.

- Hello, girls!

- Hello, Nan!

- Mr. Gould wants to see Mr. Kent.

- Oh, I'll put that in my memory book.

- Is Mr. Kent in?

- No, but I'm his secretary.

- This is something very personal.

- That's the kind of a secretary I am.

Well, you see, I'm a title-thinker-upper.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Manuel Seff

Manuel Seff (1895–1969) was an American playwright and screenwriter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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