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 »
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
There is a pattern to 1930's Hollywood musicals; struggle to put on show proceeds alongside struggle for love to conquer all. And in the end both struggles are successfully concluded. It is a pattern that is broken by "Gold Diggers Of 1933". Sure, all of the usual elements are in place, including the Hungry, Penniless Showgirl Depression setting. But where this movie differs is in the fact that after the various plot strands are neatly tied up, it doesn't end. Instead, we are treated to the last big production number,"My Forgotten Man", as downbeat as it was possible to get in 30's Hollywood. All the Busby Berkeley musicals paid lip service to the Great Depression, but this one goes much further, as "My Forgotten Man" was the last, most enduring image of the film, and the one that audiences left the theatre with. It's placement was a brave decision on the part of whoever made it, and it would be interesting to learn of the public reaction at the time. Because while it is undoubtedly true that in an era of deprivation, you can't blithely make movies that are totally divorced from reality, it's equally true that people want to be reassured there is a better life, and they won't be scratching around in the dirt forever. Personally, I love the number, and it's placement. It's something that has fascinated me since my very first viewing 7 years ago, but it seems to be a point that not a lot of critics have picked up on. Perhaps it wasn't so unusual after all!
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