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Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Musical  -  27 May 1933 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 4,548 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 30 critic

Millionaire turned composer Dick Powell rescues unemployed Broadway people with a new play.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Warren William ...
Lawrence
...
Carol
Aline MacMahon ...
Trixie
...
Polly
...
Brad
Guy Kibbee ...
Peabody
Ned Sparks ...
Barney
...
Fay
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Storyline

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 <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

300 Gorgeous GIRLS Hand-picked from more than 5000 applicants. Each a perfect example of feminine beauty...Add these 300 beauties to the 13 stars, 5 song hits and 4 glittering ensembles and you'll know why we call this picture "THE SHOW of a THOUSAND WONDERS" See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Golddiggers of 1933  »

Box Office

Budget:

$433,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At 5:55 PM PST on March 10, 1933, the Long Beach earthquake hit southern California, measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale. When the earthquake hit, Busby Berkeley was filming the "Shadow Waltz" dance sequence on a sound stage on the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank. The earthquake caused a blackout on the sound stage and short-circuited some of the neon-tubed violins. Berkeley was almost thrown from a camera boom, and dangled by one hand until he could pull himself back up. Since many of the chorus girls in the dance number were on a 30-foot-high scaffold, Berkeley yelled for them to sit down and wait until the stage hands and technicians could open the sound stage doors and let in some light. See more »

Goofs

When Brad plays piano for Mr. Hopkins, his fingers don't match the sound of the piano. See more »

Quotes

Trixie Lorraine: [whispers to Fay] One more look at him with those bedroom-eyes and I'll break your leg!
Trixie Lorraine: [loudly, to all] Excuse me for whispering; Fay and I have so much in common!
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years at the Movies (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Forgive Me for Loving You
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Written for the movie but not used
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The best of the Warren/Dubin/Berkley musicals
18 June 2004 | by (Oregon) – See all my reviews

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.


23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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