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Gold Diggers of 1937 (1936)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Romance  |  28 December 1936 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 579 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 3 critic

Stage-producer J.J. Horbart, is going to put on a new show, but he doesn't know that his two partners lost the money at the stock market. Insurance salesman Rosmer Peck falls in love with ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (based on the play by: "Sweet Mystery of Life"), 2 more credits »
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Title: Gold Diggers of 1937 (1936)

Gold Diggers of 1937 (1936) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Norma Perry
Glenda Farrell ...
Genevieve Larkin
Victor Moore ...
J.J. Hobart
Lee Dixon ...
Boop Oglethorpe
Osgood Perkins ...
Morty Wethered
Charles D. Brown ...
Hugo (as Chas. D. Brown)
Rosalind Marquis ...
Sally
Irene Ware ...
Irene
William B. Davidson ...
Andy Callahan (as Wm. Davidson)
Olin Howland ...
Dr. MacDuffy
Charles Halton ...
Dr. Bell
Paul Irving ...
Dr. Warshof
Harry C. Bradley ...
Dr. Henry
Joseph Crehan ...
Chairman
Edit

Storyline

Stage-producer J.J. Horbart, is going to put on a new show, but he doesn't know that his two partners lost the money at the stock market. Insurance salesman Rosmer Peck falls in love with ex chorus-girl Joan Blondell, who's friend Genevieve tries to land on one of J.J Horbat's partners. They come up with the idea to insure J.J. for $1 Million, to get the money back when he dies. Rosmer sells him the policy. After the insurance Company finds out that he's only a hypochondriac, an attempt to kill him accidently fails, and Genevieve falls in love with J.J. But when J.J. is informed that he is putting on a show with no money he has a breakdown. The only possibility to restore his health is putting on the show, in spite of the lack of money. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

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Release Date:

28 December 1936 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song "Hush Mah Mouth" by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg was written for the picture but not used in the final print. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) A string used to make a stack of books fall onto Dick Powell's head is clearly visible against the white paper background. See more »

Connections

Follows Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

Bermuda Buggy Ride
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Sanford Green
See more »

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User Reviews

Lesser Berkeley, but with one really good number
16 November 2000 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

The heyday of the Warner Bros./Busby Berkeley musicals was on the wane by 1936. While the key films of the series ("42nd Street" [1933], "Gold Diggers of 1933" [1933]) dealt with putting on a show, and the numbers being parts of that show, Hollywood musicals by the mid-30s were starting to shift to "book numbers," with characters singing and dancing when they should have been talking or walking. "Gold Diggers of 1937" is an attempt by Berkeley to follow this trend, but still hang onto what had worked in the past for him. So there are book numbers and at least one major "show number." The results are middling.

Another factor that gave the WB/Berkeley musicals so much energy was the tough talk and slightly risque innuendo that was sparked by the desperation of the dark days of the Depression. By 1936, there were specific factors in place to reign this in. The Production Code was now enforced, keeping the Hollywood studios from including the overtly sexual material that livened so many of Berkeley's numbers.

Also, with Roosevelt's election to president, popular opinion swayed from cynicism and frustration to hope and support of the system. The early Berkeley films were nothing if not an expression of hard-bitten despair. In "Gold Diggers of 1937," we still have women forced to use their sexuality on oily moneymen in order to survive economically (one actually says at one point, "It's so hard to be good under the capitalistic system"--Imagine!). But, unlike the early films in the series, this film wants you to feel sympathetic for the millionaire (instead of seeing him as the oppressor).

While the studio did give the film some strong stars, the budget seems somewhat lower than usual for Berkeley musicals--except for the final musical number, "All's Fair in Love and War." It's a real stunner--surreal, amazing visuals that stand up to comparison with just about any of Berkeley's greatest numbers. It's probably worth sitting through all of the forced comedy just to get to this one number.


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