Multi-millionaire Ezra Ounce wants to start a campaign against 'filthy' forms of entertainment, like Broadway-Shows. He comes to his relatives families and makes them members of his ... See full summary »
Stephen Lee doesn't want his nephew Wally Sanders to marry chorus girl Violet Dayne, because he believes all chorus girls to be ruthless gold diggers, always chasing after the men's money. ... See full summary »
Radio singer Glory Eden is publicized as the ideal of American womanhood, in order to sell the sponsor's product Ippsie-Wippsie Washcloths. In reality, Glory would like to at least sample ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
REVEL IN THESE MIGHT SPECTACLES -- "The Parade of the Gold Diggers" "The Stairway to the Stars" "The Flower Garden of Girls" "The Ballet of the Snows" "The Dance of the Singing Violins" "The Pageant of the Forgotten Man" See more »
At 1:18 into film Lawrence (Warren William) is on his bed with an ice pack, Peabody (Guy Kibbee) sitting next to him. Lawrence gets up and undoes the sash of his robe, but in the very next shot the sash is completely tied, as it had been before. See more »
Even better than the splendid "42nd Street," this first of the many "Gold Diggers" films is hitting on all its cylinders. When you have Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, and Ginger Rogers in the cast, the music of Harry Warren and Al Dubin, AND the choreography of Busby Berkley at his best, how can it be otherwise.
Okay, so Ruby Keeler still can't sing on key and her stomping dance style leaves many cold. She does still have that aura of innocence that helped her so much in "42nd Street" and which makes her performance tolerable. She does have the magnificent Joan Blondell and the soon-to-be-legendary Ginger Rogers to fall back on and, believe me, both ladies are more than equal to the task. (I have long believed that Blondell was one of the finest comic actresses in Hollywood history and Ginger Rogers - well, there was a reason Fred Astaire partnered with her more than with any other. No one could do musical comedy and dance better than Rogers at her peak.)
Yes, Berkley is an acquired taste. I find much of his later work a bit too precious for my tastes. Here, however, where he was still developing his style, it comes across as fresh and invigorating. Some of the numbers could have used a bit more rehearsal (low budget and a short shooting schedule probably nixed that) but they still all work and some are astonishingly good.
Dick Powell is, as usual, splendid and in great voice. Those of us who remember his later career as an award winning dramatic actor and director may not be aware that he was originally a singer - and a damned fine one until cigarette smoking and age took its toll.
Many might be a bit shocked by the bawdiness (naughtiness?) of some of the numbers. This was one of the pre-Hayes code films and it one of the reasons why certain groups of viewers were upset. None of it is dirty but some certainly disturbing to the sensitive. (See "Flying Down to Rio" or "Footlight Parade" for other examples of pre-code examples.) I find it all pretty tame but, in 1933, some considered this scandalous and nearly pornographic. We are talking skimpy clothing and innuendo, nothing more, but this was the 1930s and censorship was getting ready to rear its ugly heads. (See Chaplin's masterful "Monsieur Verdoux" for his not-so-subtle jabs at censorship.)
"Gold Diggers of 1933" is a certified classic and should not be missed by fans of the musical or early Hollywood. Just remember that its a product of its time and not the present age and enjoy it for what it is.
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