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

Yet another 1933 Creator/WarnerBros musical featuring songs by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, though this time the songs were divided between them and Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal. It stars Creator/JamesCagney as stage musical director Chester Kent. Kent is a musical theater producer 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. Joan Blondell stars as his long-suffering secretary Nan Prescott, and Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell as some 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 Berkeley 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 a movie theater.
* CallForward: In a meta sense, as Chester Kent basically comes up with the idea for ''Theater/{{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 Berkeley musicals 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 Brothers productions at that time.
* {{Yellowface}}: Keeler as "Shanghai Lil", as well as several of the other singers in the "Shanghai Lil" number.