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[[quoteright:330:[[Film/FortySecondStreet http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Busby_Berkeley_01.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:Even when sober, this is really trippy.]]

All the big, splashy musical numbers with elaborate sets and precise, fancy choreography that are a key memory of the GoldenAgeOfHollywood came largely from the mind of one man. He basically brought the RuleOfCool to musical theater.

Creator/BusbyBerkeley was a former theater actor who served in World War I as an artillery lieutenant. There, he learned how to get large groups of people to move in sync. This helped him when he went to Broadway and set up some of the most elaborate dancing numbers in the history of theater, with only Florenz Ziegfeld coming close. When he went to film, he topped even that, thanks to cameras being able to shoot where people couldn't sit, using more ChorusGirls than could ever fit on an ordinary stage. (In 1971 he was once again credited on Broadway for choreographing the revival of ''No, No, Nanette'', but this was InNameOnly.)

One of his trademarks was to drill a hole in the ceiling to take direct shots of the dancers from above ([[OlderThanTheyThink before Orson Welles made the camera lower]] with a hole in the floor) while they moved in intricate patterns.

But that's just some of the crazy things he did. Watching his numbers is a visual treat, even for those not into musicals.

Naturally, today, musicals are likely to have homages to him, especially in {{Disney Acid Sequence}}s.

There's a subset of Busby Berkeley Numbers that could be called "EstherWilliams Numbers" for their most famous star ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esther_Williams info]] at TheOtherWiki): scenes done in pools, featuring wonderful examples of synchronized swimming. Usually with several female swimmers standing in a row on the left side of the screen and jumping in the water sideways to the right. Traditionally the camera then follows them swimming under water and then, in bird perspective forming a huge circle with their floating bodies.

!!Films featuring his work:

* ''Whoopee!'' (1930), Berkeley's first film
* ''Film/FortySecondStreet''
* ''GoldDiggersOf1933'', ''Gold Diggers of 1935'', ''Gold Diggers of 1937''
* ''FootlightParade''
* ''Dames''
* ''The Gangs All Here''
* ''Million Dollar Mermaid'' (Berkeley only worked on two Esther Williams films; this is one of them.)

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!!Homages:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Advertising ]]

* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h-A3UtguZw "Whopperettes"]] ad campaign Burger King started with Super Bowl XL was clearly inspired by Creator/BusbyBerkeley.
* The 1970 [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFnqhefkQJw Great American Soups]] ad featured a vaguely Creator/BusbyBerkeley-ish number performed by Ann Miller (a top tap dancer) as a housewife telling her returning husband what kind of soup was at home. The ad proved to be very popular and increased sales of soup, but [[WhatWereTheySellingAgain not Great American Soups]] soup. People bought rival Campbell's Soup instead.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* "Too Marvelous For Words" from ''Ready, Willing and Able'' had Ruby Keeler and Lee Dixon dancing on the keys of a giant typewriter with the legs of sixteen ChorusGirls typing out the lyrics. Oddly enough, Warner Bros. didn't get Creator/BusbyBerkeley to do this movie.
* Creator/MelBrooks seems to be a fan of Berkeley's work:
** In the "Springtime For Hitler" number in ''Film/TheProducers'', dancers march in a formation resembling a swastika (but overhead, like the typical Berkeley shot).
*** The stage production (and the newer film) of ''The Producers" even uses a rear wall of mirrors to display the top angle of the dance number, replicating the overhead camera shot.
*** The number "I Want to be a Producer" has a very Busby feel to it, with its elaborate set and chorus girl posing, though it is somewhat minimal.
** Part of "The Inquisition" song from ''History of the World Part 1'' has a swimming number with Nuns and Rabbis.
** And, of course, in ''Film/BlazingSaddles'', one of the sets they [[NoFourthWall break into]] is rehearsing one of these.
* The "Miss Piggy" number from ''TheGreatMuppetCaper'', with the titular pig as the lead performer, is a take on the Esther Williams Number.
* KennethBranagh's ''LovesLaboursLost'' has several dance sequences, but ''No Strings (I'm Fancy Free)'' stands out as another Esther Williams Number.
* "So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish", from ''Film/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''. Especially strange, as it involves ''dolphins''.
* Willie's "Anything Goes" floor show in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom'' (which of course wouldn't work as an actual floor show).
* ''TheBigLebowski'' has a bowling-themed number like this as one of The Dude's dream sequences, which not only references choreography from specific dances, but also Berkeley's [[ShownTheirWork distinctive editing style as well]].
* Ken Russell's MGM adaptation of the Broadway musical ''The Boy Friend'' contains a number of elaborate production numbers that homage Berkeley's work, including from-above shots of synchronized circular choreography.
* The Creator/RobinWilliams movie ''Toys'' features a brief one involving a squadron of mechanical tanks.
* Believe it or not, ''[[HighSchoolMusical High School Musical 3]]'', particularly "I Want It All" - which actually makes sense: Sharpay and Ryan Evans rule the theatre club and share a dream of becoming Broadway stars.
** ''High School Musical 2'' has a shot in "Fabulous" that also homages Creator/BusbyBerkeley dance maneuvers.
* In the 1982 film version of ''Film/{{Annie|1982}}'', the whole "Let's Go To The Movies" scene with the ushers and ChorusGirls[[note]]Specifically, the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes[[/note]] is pure Berkeley.
* The ending of ''Series/{{Jackass}}: Number Two'', which involved the cast getting dispatched in various ways.
* TheMovie of ''ThePiratesOfPenzance'' briefly shows the policemen in one of these near the end of "[[GoYeHeroesGoAndDie Go, Ye Heroes!]]".
* ''Film/SinginInTheRain'' had the somewhat more low-key number "Beautiful Girl", which nevertheless featured a flock of ChorusGirls who follow and then form rings around the lead male singer in an overhead shot at the end of the number, following a mini fashion show within the song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E06HZ7AosrA (featuring some truly ridiculous roaring 20's looks)]], all of which [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment had nothing to do with the plot]].
* The Pool Scene of ''Film/{{Caddyshack}}'' begins with one of these, a successfully absurd synchronized swimming sequence.
* During the "Augustus Gloop" song in ''Film/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'', several Oompa Loompas dive into the chocolate lake Berkeley-style and then are seen from overhead creating synchronized patterns around the chocolate pipe.
* In the ''TheWindInTheWillows'' claymation film, the ducks do this during the "Ducks Ditty" song.
* Naturally, the "Star-Spangled Man" sequence in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' runs on this, complete with dancing showgirls, tanks that shoot red-white-blue confetti, and choreographed Hitler punching.
* ''Film/TankGirl'' has a parody version of this. Everyone at the Liquid Silver club breaks out into a CrowdSong (and dance) set to ColePorter's "Let's Do It".

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The ''Series/{{Scrubs}}''' MusicalEpisode.
* Harry Solomon performed one in a DreamSequence in ''[[ThirdRockFromTheSun 3rd Rock from the Sun]]''.
* In the ''Series/GetSmart'' revival movie ''The Nude Bomb'', Maxwell Smart and the villain make two separate armies of clones of each other and have a battle that includes an injoke of an overhead shot of them fighting in a Creator/BusbyBerkeley formation.
** In an episode of the TV series, Max is pushing a baby carriage containing a MacGuffin when he and numerous other agents start switching around their carriages in Berkeley formation.
* The closing ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics featured, near the end of the telecast, a parade of everything [[CanadaEh stereotypically Canadian]] set to a jazzy air of "The Maple Leaf Forever", that the American anchor specifically called "Creator/BusbyBerkeley meets Canadia." With dancing mounties, giant hockey players and flying moose. And giant, inflatable squirrels.
* There were a few ''Series/SesameStreet'' shorts featuring chorus girls doing Busby Berkeley Numbers while teaching the kids at home about numbers.
** One of them was written to be like a Busby Berkeley number, although the visual elements weren't present. The song was a subtle musical theatre parody called "I Just Adore Four," sung by Big Bird first as a solo, [[SummonBackupDancers but then by the second chorus becomes a splashy showbizzy number with the assistance of the]] [[LargeHam Tarnish Brothers]]. The album "The Count Counts" said it came from TheMusical "Two Plus Two," but in reality it was the splashy opening to a ''Sesame Street'' episode called "The Number Four Show."
** The "Penguins" episode of ''ElmosWorld'' had a short musical swim segment.
* In one run of the newscasting game in ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'', Ryan Stiles' role is that he's always wanted to star in a Creator/BusbyBerkeley musical. The audience is then treated to a dance inspired by the forecast of "sunny days ahead", which includes an overhead shot of Ryan doing snow-angel and running-in-place motions while lying on the floor.
** Creator/BusbyBerkeley has come up in multiple episodes of both the American and British versions of the show, particularly (of course) during the musical games.
* In ''Series/TheArmandoIannucciShows'', a vision of heaven features a Creator/BusbyBerkeley routine [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1fG1UFME2o "performed" by corpses.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* The Chemical Brothers' music video, directed by Michel Gondry, for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti4ip8zQyrc Let Forever Be]]. Probably the only BusbyBerkeleyNumber to involve a drumming hobo.
* The video for "I Heard a Rumour" by Bananarama.
* Pulp's "This Is Hardcore" video.
** "Party Hard" (from the same album) seems to be inspired by the concept as well.
* The RedHotChiliPeppers' video for "Aeroplane".
* TheMagneticFields' song "Busby Berkeley Dreams"
* Take That's music video for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwC1Ctrj6Xk Shine]] is a three minute long homage/parody of his work.
* Cloud Nothing's video for "Fall In" has this while the band plays.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theatre ]]

* "Busby Berkeley" is the name of an improvised theatre game in which the participants are to improvise a dance number in which they must move symmetrically without looking at each other directly.
* Creator/CirqueDuSoleil's ''Theatre/{{O}}'', which has a giant pool serving as its stage, features several transitions with Esther Williams-style synchronized swimming.
* The choreography for "Dirty Laundry" from ''Franchise/TheWitchesOfEastwick'' deliberately invoked Berkeley's style.
* In a rare case of cross cultural osmosis, the traditional [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgHmSdpjEIk "Thousand Handed Goddess"]] dance routine from China draws a lot from this trope.
* In ''TheDrowsyChaperone'', the [[LemonyNarrator Man in Chair]] refers to "The Bride's Lament" number as "a little Busby Berkeley, a little Jane Goodall".

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''TheSwanPrincess'', at the ball.
* "Be Our Guest", from the [[DisneyAnimatedCanon Disney version]] of ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast''.
* The "Food, Glorious Food" number in ''WesternAnimation/IceAge: The Meltdown''.
** The related short ''Gone Nutty'' plays with this trope when Scrat falls amid hundreds of acorns.
* The last part of the final stanza of "I Just Can't Wait to Be King", from ''Disney/TheLionKing'', is intended to invoke a Busby Berkeley Number, even if the visual elements aren't there.
** Agreed. The "animal tower" especially is reminiscent of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=707VxB-ek4Q#t=7m28s this part of "By A Waterfall"]].
* In the [[WesternAnimation/PixarShorts Pixar Short]] "Partysaurus Rex", several of the bath toys dive off the edge of the bathtub one after the other ''a la'' Berkeley.
* The BigLippedAlligatorMoment with the frogs in ''TheBraveLittleToaster''.
* In the MusicalEpisode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'', a group of Atlanteans do this while under the sway of the Music Meister. It's part of a hypnosis-induced CrowdSong that essentially the entire planet is performing.
* The ''MyLittlePony'' pilot Special "Rescue at Midnight Castle" (AKA "Firefly's Adventure") features one of these performed by the Sea Ponies.
** ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' has done one or two, such as "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E14SuitedForSuccess Art of the Dress]]".
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' Have one of these every series or two, usually in their "Road To..." episodes, and one regarding the benefits of marijuana in episode "420".
** And their opening credits sequence, though it's by necessity a pretty short example.
* The opening credits of ''{{Rio}}''.
* ''ShaunTheSheep'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mtfb4m6xGCA has elements of it]].
* The Dalton's dream sequence in the animated ComicBook/LuckyLuke film ''"Le Ballade des Daltons" (1978)'' also has a Berkeleyesque swimming and dance number.
* TheSimpsons: Lisa Simpson has one with the other children in a swimming pool, in the episode ''"Bart Of Darkness"''.

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