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William A. Seiter
Barney Hopkins is producing a new show on Broadway, but the day before it opens, the set and costumes are confiscated due to unpaid bills. Everybody is sitting in the street, and due to the Depression, there is no work for the three chorus girls Carol, Trixie and Polly. But they hear rumors that Barney is producing a new show. They talk to him, and he promises to give them work - when he finds a backer to produce the new show. Barney hears the tunes of the composer next door, Brad Roberts, Polly's friend. Brad joins them and agrees to back the show. On opening night Brad takes over for the juvenile lead, who is suffering from lumbago. Brad has been very publicity-shy, because he is a member of an upper-class wealthy Boston family. When his family hears what he is doing, his brother Lawrence and the family attorney Peabody come to New York, to end his relationship with Polly. But Lawrence mistakes Carol for Polly, who does not correct his mistake. Lawrence decides to separate Polly and... Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
In an early scene, producer Barney Hopkins (Ned Sparks) yells, "Cancel my contract with Warren and Dubin!" In fact, Harry Warren and Al Dubin were quickly becoming one of the most successful songwriting teams in Hollywood of the Thirties, and they penned all the tunes in this picture. See more »
During the violin sequence, the cord for the lights on the violin disappears and reappears throughout. See more »
New York City - the height of the Great Depression. Four showgirls, starving, scheming for that next role in a Broadway musical comedy. Looking for the Big Break. Auditioning for every part. Often down, but never downhearted. Using men, loving men, cheating men. These are the GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933.
This is a wonderful comedy - funny, tuneful & easy on the intellect. Plus, the magic of Busby Berkeley's musical numbers. It's the kind of entertainment that kept audiences happy for a few hours during the dark days of economic despair in the early 1930's.
The cast is first-rate: brassy Joan Blondell; cynical Aline MacMahon; innocent Ruby Keeler & on-the-make Ginger Rogers. Keeler lands handsome & mysterious Dick Powell, (who gets to croon some attractive Harry Warren tunes); and acerbic but loyal producer Ned Sparks.
Warren William & Guy Kibbee turn up late in the proceedings, playing priggish bluenoses who are nonetheless highly susceptible to alcohol & feminine wiles. Movie mavens will recognize Charles Lane as a society reporter; Ferdinand Gottschalk as a disgruntled club member; and Sterling Holloway as a messenger boy.
Some years back, in an introduction to a book about THE WIZARD OF OZ's Munchkins, dwarf Billy Barty stated that he was `too young' to appear in that 1939 movie. This, of course, is nonsense, and he can easily be spotted in the `Pettin' In The Park' number here. As he would in FOOTLIGHT PARADE, he rather disturbingly portrays a lecherous tot, a sure indication, if nothing else, that this is a pre-Production Code film.
Mr. Berkeley does get to have some fun. The film starts with `We're In The Money' featuring Ginger Rogers & girls clad in coins large & small; Rogers even gets to sing one chorus in pig Latin. `Pettin' In The Dark' extols the joys of bucolic lovemaking, segues to simulated, silhouetted female nudity and rather bizarrely ends with the chorus all metal-corseted (Powell is given a can opener to use on Keeler). `The Shadow Waltz' is Berkeley at his most romantic, with its helix-skirted ladies pretending to play fluorescent, fake violins, all moving in a multitude of weaving patterns staged for the famous overhead camera shots. The film's emotional punch comes at the end, with Blondell's tempestuous rendition of `Remember My Forgotten Man' - with its endless marching men, a blues wail for the doughboys of the Great War, ruined by the Depression. The movie ends on this somber note. (Powell also gets to warble `I've Got To Sing A Torch Song').
And just who are those hilarious, Yiddish Kentucky Hillbillies, anyway?
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