Gold Diggers of 1933

Gold Diggers of 1933

DVD - 2006
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A musical comedy film about an aspiring songwriter, four single actresses, and the staging of a new musical play on Broadway. Includes dances choreographed by Busby Berkeley.


From Library Staff

Ginger Rogers sings "We're in the money" in pig latin.

This Busby Berkeley extravaganza includes such naughty numbers as "Petting in the Park."

From the critics

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Mar 11, 2016

Although the plot is so formulaic it’s become a Hollywood cliché, director Mervyn LeRoy’s screen adaptation of Avery Hopwood’s play is a riot of snappy one-liners and spirited performances, not to mention all those racy costumes and sexual innuendos that must have given early censors more than one restless night. But it is the song & dance routines helmed by legendary choreographer Busby Berkeley which give "Gold Diggers" its timeless pizzazz—from the campy optimism of opening number “We’re In The Money” featuring platinum blonde beauties decked out in gold coins to the sombre and socially conscious closing act “The Forgotten Man” which shines a light on the soldiers who risked their lives in WWI only to lose everything, including their dignity, with the crash of ’29. Between these two disparate bookends the cast seems to have a ball cutting each other up while the musical interludes are aswirl with indoor snowstorms, neon violins, and tinfoil bikinis (causing one frustrated lover to reach for a can opener). But it was the rollerskating midget in baby drag which left me scratching my head. Listed in Steven Schneider’s “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”, and by all means do so!

Dec 28, 2013

Must see, not just because it is immensely well done and entertaining as a film, but specifically because:

Joan Blondell does a star turn as the archetypal fast talking, ambitious, gold hearted American dame in this Depression classic. If you want to understand either the importance of Blondell, or of the type, this film is a key study item.

Busby Berkeley's "The Forgotten Man" number is a profound work, and arguably the best piece of political theater made in America in the 20th C to reach a mass audience. It certainly earns Berkeley a respectable rank as advocate for the "forgotten men" of that decade.

It is an interesting slice of streetwise, secular, anti-Temperance white American feminism. It begs lots of questions about class, gender and race in US big city culture of that era.


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