Chorus girls Polly, Carol and Trixie are ecstatic when they learn that Broadway producer Barney Hopkins is putting on a new show. He promises all of the girls parts in the new show and even hires their neighbor Brad Roberts, an unknown composer, to write some of the music. There's only one problem: he doesn't have the money to bankroll it all. That problem is solved when Brad turns out to be quite rich but he insists that he not perform. When opening night comes, the juvenile lead can't go on forcing Brad to take the stage. He's recognized of course and his upper crust family wants him to quit. When he refuses, they tell him to end his relationship with Polly or face having his income cut off. When Brad's snobbish brother Lawrence mistakes Carol for Polly, the girls decide to have a bit of fun and teach him a lesson.Written by
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 »
I've heard of this movie for years, but didn't actually see it until last week when Turner Classic Movies ran it. And it is positively stunning!! On the surface, it moves almost like a carbon copy of 42ND STREET- right up to the last-minute switch in players before the curtain goes up (although in this film, it's Dick Powell instead of Ruby Keeler). But its astringent look at trying to play Tin Pan Alley smack in the middle of the Depression gives it a very adult and tragic significance. It still has the Berkley dazzle- from the "Shadow Waltz" chorus girls (and electric violins) to the now-legendary "We're In The Money" dress rehearsal fronted by a pre-Astaire Ginger Rogers. (I was a teenager when my mother mentioned that one verse of this song was actually sung in Pig Latin- and I swore for twenty-five years that she was pulling my chain. It is one of the cleverest vocal interludes I've ever seen and heard.) But the three girls implied in the film's title- Ruby Keeler, Aline McMahon, and especially the sharp, smart, and gorgeous Joan Blondell- are the best things in the movie. And Blondell fronts the sublime finale number "Forgotten Man-" which pays tribute to the men (and women) of WWI and the ironies which followed. The staging of it- the marching which goes from triumphant to tragic, the torchy, gospel-like vocal of Etta Moten (the black woman sitting in the window), and the pullback shot of everyone coming downstage at the fadeout- is truly spectacular.
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