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Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 15 March 1935 (USA)
Romantic antics abound among the guests at a luxury hotel, including a stage director, an eccentric millionaire, and the daughter of a financial backer.

Director:

Busby Berkeley

Writers:

Manuel Seff (screen play), Peter Milne (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dick Powell ... Dick Curtis
Adolphe Menjou ... Nicolai Nicoleff
Gloria Stuart ... Ann Prentiss
Alice Brady ... Mrs. Prentiss
Hugh Herbert ... T. Mosley Thorpe
Glenda Farrell ... Betty Hawes
Frank McHugh ... Humbolt Prentiss
Joseph Cawthorn ... Schultz
Grant Mitchell ... Louis Lamson
Dorothy Dare ... Arline Davis
Wini Shaw ... Winny Shaw (as Winifred Shaw)
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Storyline

In a luxury hotel stage director Nicoleff stages a show to get the money to pay his bills. Mrs. Prentiss, who is backing the show wants her daughter Ann to marry the millionaire T. Mosely Thorpe, but Ann falls in love with Dick Curtis, while Dick's girl friend marries Ann's brother Humbolt. But the hotel secretary Betty knows a way to avoid dificulties with old Mrs. Prentiss. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 March 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aranyásók 1935-ben See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures 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

Grace Hayle is an actress in studio records playing "Mrs. Fry," but she was not seen in the movie. See more »

Goofs

At the conclusion of the "white piano" number when all the pianos magically move together to form a single large rectangle, the movements of the dancer's gown betrays the fact that this was achieved by running the film backwards. See more »

Quotes

Humbolt Prentiss: Arline, I've broken the news to Mother.
Arline Davis: What did she say?
Humbolt Prentiss: She started throwing things at me. Oh, that's alright. She always does. It's a very good sign for us.
Arline Davis: In other words, she didn't really disapprove or she'd have shot you.
See more »


Soundtracks

I'm Goin' Shoppin' with You
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
Performed by Dick Powell and Gloria Stuart
See more »

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User Reviews

 
For the Love of Money
19 December 2000 | by lugonianSee all my reviews

GOLD DIGGERS OF 1935 (Warner Brothers, 1935), directed by Busby Berkeley, is a lavish musical set in New England's Wentworth Plaza, a summer fashionable hotel, featuring a cross section of people working or staying there, many wanting to make some extra money for themselves, hence the title "Gold Diggers." In this edition, the "Gold Digging" is done by both men and women, with the exception of the romantic leads. Dick Curtis (Dick Powell), a desk clerk working his way through medical school, is engaged to marry Arline Davis (Dorothy Dare), employed as a the hostess there. Guests at the swank hotel include Ann Prentiss (Gloria Stuart), the daughter of the ultra wealthy but stingy widow Matilda Prentiss (Alice Brady), who wants Ann to marry eccentric middle-aged millionaire, T. Mosley Thorpe (Hugh Herbert), but before Ann will commit herself into a loveless marriage, she wants to go out and enjoy herself first. Mother Prentiss consents to this, but with protection, by hiring Dick as her escort. In the meantime, Arline becomes interested in Humbolt (Frank McHugh), Ann's girl-chasing brother with four previous marriages. While Mosley gets time away from Ann to write a book about snuff, he is pursued by Betty Hawes (Glenda Farrell), a gold-digging stenographer. More complications ensue when the freeloading Nikolai Nicoleff (Adolphe Menjou), a Russian theatrical producer mooching off the hotel, is asked by the manager, Louis Lamson (Grant Mitchell) to stage a musical show that will not only help pay for his bill, but to help benefit the Charity Milk Fund. Sponsored by Mrs. Prentiss, she wants everything in the show to be "small and cheap." With all this is set aside, the real entertainment begins with two lavish production numbers choreographed by Busby Berkeley.

With the score by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, GOLD DIGGERS OF 1935 opens instrumentally to "I'm Going Shopping With You," where employees, including bellboys and chambermaids, musically preparing the hotel for the upcoming guests. The song is later introduced by Powell as he escorts Stuart on a shopping spree, charging everything to her mother. This is later followed by the tender love song, "The Words Are In My Heart" sung by Powell to Stuart on the motor boat. For the charity show, the first number is "The Words Are In My Heart" introduced by Powell to Stuart in period clothes, followed by a parade of chorus girls playing the tune while sitting on movable white pianos. An excellent number that needs to be seen to be appreciated. When one thinks Berkeley cannot outdo that piano segment, stay tuned for the 14 minute finale, "The Lullaby of Broadway." Sung by Winifred Shaw, the big climax of hundreds of dancers in the night club sequence is an instant classic. This segment alone is usually clipped into movie documentaries, especially a segment into public television's 1971 90-minute presentation of "The Movie-Crazy Years," a look back into the history of Warner Brothers movies of the 1930s. "The Lullaby of Broadway" went on to win the Academy Award as best song of the year. While "Shopping" and "Words" are underscored throughout the story, with insert of "Tango Del Rio" from WONDER BAR (1934), only "Lullaby of Broadway" gives indication of one being inserted here from another movie or musical short, considering the fact that the song isn't heard at all until its grand finale, thus saving the best for last.

In closing, GOLD DIGGERS OF 1935 is grand scale musical showing that Berkeley handles his production numbers better than the weak plot. Alice Brady's character can often be annoying while the Warners reliables of Frank McHugh and Hugh Herbert tend to strain a bit for laughs. For character acting, Adolphe Menjou acquires a thick Russian accent to match with his comedic moments opposite Joseph Cawthorne as another heavily accented August Schultz.

Distributed to home video in 1989, and DVD many years later as part of the Busby Berkeley collection, GOLD DIGGERS OF 1935 often plays on cable television's Turner Classic Movies. (***)


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