7.2/10
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45 user 18 critic

Dames (1934)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 1 September 1934 (USA)
A multimillionaire decides to boycott "filthy" forms of entertainment such as Broadway shows.

Writers:

Delmer Daves (screen play), Robert Lord (story) | 1 more credit »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Blondell ... Mabel
Dick Powell ... Jimmy
Ruby Keeler ... Barbara
Zasu Pitts ... Mathilda
Guy Kibbee ... Horace
Hugh Herbert ... Ezra
Arthur Vinton ... Bulger - Ounce's Bodyguard
Phil Regan ... Johnny Harris - Songwriter
Arthur Aylesworth ... Train Conductor
Johnny Arthur ... Billings - Ounce's Secretary
Leila Bennett ... Laura - Matilda's Maid
Berton Churchill ... Harold Ellsworthy Todd
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bess Flowers ... (scenes deleted)
Richard Quine ... (unconfirmed)
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Storyline

Multi-millionaire Ezra Ounce wants to start a campaign against 'filthy' forms of entertainment, like Broadway-Shows. He comes to his relatives families and makes them members of his morale-boosting campaign. But Jimmy, another relative is producing a show, starring Ezra's niece Barbara. But he had bad luck with his backer, this person has given him an invalid check. Another of his victims, the show-girl Mabel has the idea of blackmailing Horace, Barbara's father, whom she has met before in a slightly compromising situation to get the money. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 September 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Abbasso le donne See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the "Dames" number, Dick Powell as a Broadway producer doesn't want to see composer George Gershwin, but when asked by his secretary about seeing Miss Dubin, Miss Warren and Miss Kelly, he lets them enter his office. This is an inside joke, referring to Al Dubin and Harry Warren, who wrote the music for this film, and Orry-Kelly, who was the costume designer. See more »

Goofs

While Joan Blondell is singing "The Girl at the Ironing Board", a stage hand is seen in the background hanging a clothesline. See more »

Quotes

Barbara Hemingway: I'm free, white, and 21. I love to dance AND I'm going to dance.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Dames
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Danced by Ruby Keeler at rehearsal
Sung by Dick Powell and chorus in the show
Played as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

The voluptuous expression of a loving heart
8 December 2011 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

Advertised by Warners as Gold Diggers for '34, it's another film in that backstage cycle that traces the efforts of youth restless with creativity to seduce with love cynical hearts hardened by money and rigid morals. It is again a film about the makings of a show, the show we're meant to be watching.

So very much in line with Gold Diggers '33 and Footlight Parade, except a little less wondrous this time, a little less seductive in all the circumstances surrounding the stage, the burlesque of trials and tribulations in fighting to stage a vision.

But it is again Busby Berkeley who is staging the vision that we have come to see. So once more an astonishing panorama of Hollywood dazzle, but with all the frill and gaudiness of the musical working beneath the dazzle to address the circumstances of its making; so we have a number where a woman romances empty shirts on a hangwire but which are animated by invisible strings from above, implying the fates that seem to be in control, another number with the author of the whole thing singing about the face that inspired the vision with the ardor of love, and the final number addressing us from our position as viewers. Of course we have come to be seduced by the dames, nothing else mattered.

The show is so intoxicating that those cynical hearts watching from the balcony are completely soused by the end of it!

So what was from the outset seemingly controlled by the fates, by a woman chancing to sleep on the wrong bed in a train compartment, is gradually revealed to have been shaped all this time around a center with clearly reflected purpose; the author's effort to announce his passion for music and this woman he sings about, and so approach within his art the face behind the cardboard image of social appearances, as the middle number reveals.

As with the other films in this cycle, even if a little less accomplished, it is overall more than potent stuff on the ardor of a loving heart to transform anxieties of a chaotic modern life that we also know into a pattern that seduces love out of both participants and viewers.

It is enjoyable to watch, brisk with dance, the disposition dreamy, but with the small hint of a shadow at the heart of this dream. The choreography maps to the contours of that internal heart wishing to beat truthfully.


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