Broadway (1942 film)

Broadway is a 1942 crime drama musical film directed by William A. Seiter and starring George Raft as himself and Pat O'Brien as a detective.[2][2] The supporting cast features Janet Blair and Broderick Crawford.[3]

Directed byWilliam A. Seiter
Produced byBruce Manning
Screenplay byFelix Jackson
John Bright
Bruce Manning
Based onthe Jed Harris stage production by Philip Dunning & George Abbott (play)
StarringGeorge Raft
Pat O'Brien
Music byFrank Skinner
CinematographyGeorge Barnes
Edited byTed J. Kent
(as Ted Kent)
Bruce Manning Productions
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • March 23, 1942 (1942-03-23) (San Francisco)
  • April 17, 1942 (1942-04-17) (New York City)
  • May 8, 1942 (1942-05-08) (Los Angeles)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.1 million[1]

Another fictionalized biographical movie based on Raft's life, The George Raft Story (1961) featured a different actor (Ray Danton) playing Raft.


A Hollywood dancer (George Raft playing George Raft) returns to Manhattan and recalls working in a nightclub with a bootlegger's (Broderick Crawford) girlfriend.



The film was an adaptation of a Broadway show which had previously been filmed in 1929. On Broadway, Lee Tracy played the dancer, Thomas Jackson played the detective and Paul Porcasi played the night club owner. In the 1929 film, Jackson and Porcasi reprised their roles and Glenn Tryon replaced Tracy. Pat O'Brien once played the detective role in a road show.[4]

Universal had paid $175,000 for the rights.[5]

In February 1941 Universal announced the film would be part of its slate for the coming year. Bruce Manning, a writer who had recently been promoted to producer, would produce and George Raft and Broderick Crawford would star, from a script by Manning and Felix Young.[6]

However Raft was under contract to Warner Bros who refused to loan him out. Raft kept refusing roles at Warners who put him under suspension for months.[7] Eventually Warners relented and Raft made the film.[8] Raft said he had to pay $27,500 out of his own pocket and negotiate so that Warners could borrow Robert Cummings from Universal free of charge.[5]

In December 1941 Raft signed to make the film.[9]

Producer Bruce Manning wanted to turn the bootleggers into foreign agents. He discussed the story with George Raft and recognised the similarities the story of Roy, the dancer played on stage with Lee Tracey, had with the early career of George Raft. He decided to keep the characters as bootleggers but changed the story to make it about George Raft. He also added a prologue and epilogue where Raft returns to New York after establishing himself as a movie star.[10]

In February 1942 O'Brien signed to co star. Filming started that month.[11]


The film was a success with audiences.[8]

The Los Angeles Times called it a "sock melodrama".[12]


  1. "101 Pix Gross in Millions". Variety. 6 January 1943. p. 58.
  2. "Broadway". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  3. Broadway Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 9, Iss. 97, (Jan 1, 1942): 85.
  4. 'Broadway' tradition is perpetuated. (1942, May 25). The Washington Post (1923-1954) Retrieved from
  5. A FEW HOLLYWOOD ACHES AND PAINS: Metro Gauges Public Reaction to Ayres Case -- Mr. Raft Protests By THOMAS F. BRADY HOLLYWOOD. New York Times 5 Apr 1942: X3.
  6. Universal Plans Program Including 61 Major Offerings: Los Angeles Times 11 Feb 1941: A2.
  7. By, T. B. (1942, Jan 11). THE HOLLYWOOD SCENE. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  8. Everett Aaker, The Films of George Raft, McFarland & Company, 2013 p 100
  9. News From Hollywood By Telephone to THE NEW YORK TIMES.30 Dec 1941: 23.
  10. Scheuer, P. K. (1942, Mar 10). SCREEN. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  11. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD New York Times 07 Feb 1942: 13.
  12. Scheuer, P. K. (1942, Jun 26). 'Broadway' packs thrill as remake. Los Angeles Times
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