[[caption-width-right:350:Who can resist a BusbyBerkeleyNumber?]]

Yet another 1933 Warner Bros. musical featuring songs by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, though this time the songs were divided between them and Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal.

Creator/JamesCagney stars as Chester Kent, a musical theater director whose career is greatly threatened by the invention of talking motion pictures. Kent, casting about for a means of saving his job, hits on the idea of creating live musical numbers to be shown as "prologues" to main features in movie theaters. Creator/JoanBlondell co-stars as his long-suffering secretary Nan Prescott, with Ruby Keeler and Creator/DickPowell as two of his cast members.

This is, of course, all just an excuse for big {{Busby Berkeley Number}}s.

''Footlight Parade'' was directed by Lloyd Bacon, with Creator/BusbyBerkeley directing the giant musical numbers. The movie that Kent's partners take him to see is a real film, ''The Telegraph Trail'', starring an obscure B-movie actor named Creator/JohnWayne.

!!Provides Examples Of:

* BlowingSmokeRings: Apolinaris the movie theater owner is doing this when Gould and Frazer are begging him to sign a contract.
* BusbyBerkeleyNumber: And they are impressive. As was typical for Berkeley, they are far more ornate than one would ever see on a stage, much less in a movie theater; once again, WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief on the part of the audience is duly necessitated.
* CallForward: In a meta sense, as Chester Kent basically comes up with the idea for ''Theatre/{{Cats}}'' some forty-odd years before the real show.
* CurseCutShort / LastSecondWordSwap
--> '''Nan''': I know Miss Bi--Rich, if you remember.
* GirlFriday: Nan to Chester Kent. She's crazy in love with him but he doesn't notice.
* TheGlassesGottaGo: if Ruby Keeler wants to be a showgirl.
* GoldDigger: The optimistically named Vivian Rich.
* UsefulNotes/HollywoodAccounting: InUniverse. Kent's partners are using accounting tricks to scam him out of the profits of their business.
* ItWillNeverCatchOn: "Aw, talking pictures, it's just a fad."
* TheMole: Harry Thompson. "Swell. Move it babe while I give it to Gladstone." Then Thompson's girlfriend after Thompson quits to go to Gladstone.
* MoralGuardians: Charlie, the irritating, buffoonish in-house censor. Obviously a TakeThat, since pre-codes had problems with the censors.
* TheMusicalMusical: Another typical Berkeley plot device, as Kent is busy coming up with various musical prologues.
* ObliviousToLove: Chester is amazingly slow to figure out that Nan is in love with him.
* SassySecretary: Nan Prescott.
* SmithicalMarriage: ''en masse'', in the "Honeymoon Hotel" number.
* VideoCredits: At the beginning, as was standard for Warner Bros. productions at that time?
* {{Yellowface}}: Keeler as "Shanghai Lil", as well as several of the other singers in the "Shanghai Lil" number.