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Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
Fun, Fun, Fun
While certainly not the most riveting movie to come out of Hollywood during it's golden era, it certainly is one of the most fun ones. My favorite of the Busby Berkeley/Warner Bros. musicals it is the quintessential backstage musical.
While the story is secondary to Berkeley's numbers, the movie's premise is about four chorus girls trying to find work during the height of the depression. Show after show gets canceled when the girls finally get a rich financier posing as a poor song writer, played by Dick Powell, to back a new production. Warren William does an excellent job as always playing the brother and benefactor of Dick Powell's character. Ruby Keeler has always been much maligned but I she is not as bad as advertised. And Dick Powell while an excellent singer, is no Spencer Tracy.
The four major numbers include the cheery "We're in the Money" with Ginger Rogers proclaiming that "old man depression is through". However the depression rears it's ugly head when the police have to interrupt the rehearsal and shutdown production due to debt.
"Pettin in the Park" is a racy number by 1933 standards (you can definitely tell this movie is pre-code Hollywood), featuring Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler this song preaches that getting affectionate with your loved one in public ain't so bad.
"The Shadow Waltz" is a visually pleasing masterpiece to say the least. Featuring Powell and Keeler again and a countless number of chorines with neon violins, it is more spectacular then anything modern day special effects can produce.
"Remember my Forgotten Man" with the lovely Joan Blondell is a change of pace. More serious, more subdued it is a powerful reminder of how important our dough boys were just 15 years or so earlier.
Featuring an all star cast, a capable director and the genius of Busby Berkeley Gold Diggers of 1933 is one of the best musicals to come out of Hollywood during the 1930's.