6.5/10
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22 user 8 critic

Gold Diggers of 1937 (1936)

When two investors inform an opportunistic dancer that they can't fund an elderly stage producer's production, she suggests they get an insurance policy on the producer's life.

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writers:

Warren Duff (screen play), Richard Maibaum (based on the play by: "Sweet Mystery of Life") | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Powell ... Rosmer Peak
Joan Blondell ... Norma Perry
Glenda Farrell ... Genevieve Larkin
Victor Moore ... J.J. Hobart
Lee Dixon Lee Dixon ... Boop Oglethorpe
Osgood Perkins ... Morty Wethered
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... Hugo (as Chas. D. Brown)
Rosalind Marquis ... Sally
Irene Ware ... Irene
William B. Davidson ... Andy Callahan (as Wm. Davidson)
Olin Howland ... Dr. MacDuffy
Charles Halton ... Dr. Bell
Paul Irving Paul Irving ... Dr. Warshof
Harry C. Bradley ... Dr. Henry
Joseph Crehan ... Chairman
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Storyline

Stage-producer J.J. Hobart, is going to put on a new show, but he doesn't know that his two partners lost the money at the stock market. Insurance salesman Rosmer Peek falls in love with ex chorus-girl Joan Blondell, who's friend Genevieve tries to land on one of J.J Hobart's partners. They come up with the idea to insure J.J. for $1 Million, to get the money back when he dies. Rosmer sells him the policy. After the insurance company finds out that he's only a hypochondriac, an attempt to kill him accidentally fails, and Genevieve falls in love with J.J. But when J.J. is informed that he is putting on a show with no money he has a breakdown. The only possibility to restore his health is putting on the show, in spite of the lack of 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:

28 December 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vampiresas 1937 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

Many actors listed in studio records as appearing in this film are not seen in the final print. These are, with their character names: George Beranger (Pawnshop Proprietor), Antonio Filauri (Chef), Harrison Greene (Creditor), Gordon Hart (White), Max Hoffman Jr. (Salesman), Selmer Jackson (Speculator), Frances Morris (Hospital Telephone Operator), Jack Mower (Bartender), Cliff Saum (Conductor), George Sorel (Costumer) and Bobby Watson (Salesman). See more »

Goofs

(at around 20 min) A string used to make a stack of books fall onto Dick Powell's head is clearly visible against the white paper background. See more »

Quotes

Genevieve Larkin: It's so hard to be good under the capitalist system!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The usual disclaimer goes to great lengths to assure us that "The names of all characters -- The characters themselves -- The story - all incidents and institutions portrayed in this production are fictitious -- And no identification with actual persons, living or deceased, is intended or should be inferred." See more »

Connections

Follows Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

All's Fair in Love and War
(1936)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Sung by Dick Powell (uncredited), Joan Blondell (uncredited), Lee Dixon (uncredited) and Rosalind Marquis (uncredited) with chorus
Danced by Lee Dixon (uncredited), Joan Blondell (uncredited), Dick Powell (uncredited) and Rosalind Marquis (uncredited) and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Lesser Berkeley, but with one really good number
16 November 2000 | by SGriffin-6See all my reviews

The heyday of the Warner Bros./Busby Berkeley musicals was on the wane by 1936. While the key films of the series ("42nd Street" [1933], "Gold Diggers of 1933" [1933]) dealt with putting on a show, and the numbers being parts of that show, Hollywood musicals by the mid-30s were starting to shift to "book numbers," with characters singing and dancing when they should have been talking or walking. "Gold Diggers of 1937" is an attempt by Berkeley to follow this trend, but still hang onto what had worked in the past for him. So there are book numbers and at least one major "show number." The results are middling.

Another factor that gave the WB/Berkeley musicals so much energy was the tough talk and slightly risque innuendo that was sparked by the desperation of the dark days of the Depression. By 1936, there were specific factors in place to reign this in. The Production Code was now enforced, keeping the Hollywood studios from including the overtly sexual material that livened so many of Berkeley's numbers.

Also, with Roosevelt's election to president, popular opinion swayed from cynicism and frustration to hope and support of the system. The early Berkeley films were nothing if not an expression of hard-bitten despair. In "Gold Diggers of 1937," we still have women forced to use their sexuality on oily moneymen in order to survive economically (one actually says at one point, "It's so hard to be good under the capitalistic system"--Imagine!). But, unlike the early films in the series, this film wants you to feel sympathetic for the millionaire (instead of seeing him as the oppressor).

While the studio did give the film some strong stars, the budget seems somewhat lower than usual for Berkeley musicals--except for the final musical number, "All's Fair in Love and War." It's a real stunner--surreal, amazing visuals that stand up to comparison with just about any of Berkeley's greatest numbers. It's probably worth sitting through all of the forced comedy just to get to this one number.


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