Limelight (1936 film)

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"Limelight" (1936 film).jpg
Poster ad from the Sunday Mercury, 1936
Directed by Herbert Wilcox
Produced by Herbert Wilcox
Written by Laura Whetter
Starring Arthur Tracy
Anna Neagle
Jane Winton
Ellis Jeffreys
Music by Geraldo
Cinematography Freddie Young
Distributed by General Film Distributors
Release date
January 1936
Running time
80 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Limelight is a 1936 British musical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Arthur Tracy, Anna Neagle and Jane Winton.[1] It was released in the U.S. as Backstage. [2]


When chorus girl Marjorie (Anna Neagle) discovers singer Bob (Arthur Tracy) busking in the streets, and the star of her show falls ill, she persuades her producer to give him a break. Sure enough, Bob becomes an overnight sensation, but success unfortunately goes to his head.



The film was made by Wilcox's independent production company at his Elstree Studios and was distributed by J. Arthur Rank's newly formed General Film Distributors, ending a previous arrangement Wilcox had with United Artists. The film was an attempt to make a more populist contemporary hit, moving away from the more expensive costume pictures such as Nell Gwynn and Peg of Old Drury which Wilcox had recently made starring Anna Neagle. For this film Wilcox partnered her with the popular American singer Arthur Tracy.

This drama musical romance features Arthur Tracy's street singing. The film's Dance Director was Ralph Reader. His work was so appreciated by Herbert Wilcox that he created a part for Reader to dance with Neagle in the actual film.

Critical reception[edit]

Allmovie wrote, "in addition to the two stars, Limelight is enlivened by the dancing prowess of the legendary Tilly Losch; also showing up for an uncredited cameo is stage and screen luminary Jack Buchanan.[3]



  • Low, Rachael. Filmmaking in 1930s Britain. George Allen & Unwin, 1985.
  • Wood, Linda. British Films, 1927-1939. British Film Institute, 1986.

External links[edit]