Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
This documentary captures rhythms in the life and career of famed cinema choreographer Busby Berkeley (1895-1976). In the late '20s, Berkeley's work on Broadway led Eddie Cantor to recommend him to producer Sam Goldwyn for the film version of the 1930 Whoopee! (remade in 1944 as Up in Arms). After 42nd Street (1933), Berkeley's reputation in Hollywood was established. Reading from interviews by Dave Martin and critic Tony Thomas, Larry Robinson provides the voice of Berkeley. The hour-long profile intercuts interviews with Thomas, Esther Williams, director Kenneth Anger, film historian Richard Barrios, critic J. Hoberman, and others. After the December 1997 premiere of this documentary on the BBC, a re-edited version (eliminating rare footage of Florenz Zeigfeld) premiered in the U.S. on January 26, 1998 on Turner Classic Movies.