USA Today - 03/24/2006
"[T]he definitive 'Depression musical' is the best of dance-spectacle maestro Busby Berkeley's black-and-white landmarks at Warner Bros."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Wealthy benefactor -- and, by nifty coincidence, songwriter and performer -- Brad Roberts (Dick Powell) ponies up the $15,000 producer Barney Hopkins (Ned Sparks) needs to get his latest stage spectacular rolling. They have a script, a score, a theater, and dynamite talent in Carol King (Joan Blondell), Polly Parker (Ruby Keeler), and Trixie Lorraine (Aline MacMahon). Now they just need to get rid of Brad's pesky brother, who's determined to spoil everyone's fun.
2 new featurettes:
42nd Street: From Book to Stage to Screen
Gold Diggers: FDR's New Deal...Broadway Bound
3 vintage featurettes:
The 42nd Street Special
Rambling 'Round Radio Row #2
3 vintage cartoons:
I've Got to Sing a Torch Song
Pettin' in the Park
We're in the Money
Busby Berkeley musicals
A classic 1930s musical, GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 offers some of Busby Berkeley's most spectacular choreography. The opening scene features Ginger Rogers singing "We're in the Money" dressed only in silver dollars--a dream come true in depression-era America. Other spectacular dance sequences include roller-skating policemen and a midget dressed as a baby in "Petting in the Park," stunning overhead footage of chorus girls in "The Shadow Waltz," and the dark, moody "Remember My Forgotten Man," which presents the fate of jobless WWI veterans. The gold diggers are out-of-work showgirls Carol, Polly, and Trixie, played respectively by Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, and Aline MacMahon. All three hope for a job on a new musical about the depression but soon find out that the supposed producer is himself broke. But young singer-composer Brad Roberts (Dick Powell) offers to foot the bill--provided that Polly plays the lead. When Brad is forced to play the lead on opening night, his upper-crust family finds out that he is engaged to penniless Polly and send a henchman to reel Brad home. Fortunately, the henchman will have to deal with Carol and Trixie first in this wisecracking singing and dancing extravaganza.
Theatrical Release |
Busby Berkeley was one of the few film artists in 1930s Hollywood who were allowed to run amok with their imaginations. Dance sequences from the film break off from traditional narrative almost at whim. In spite of, or perhaps because of, this, GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 was one of the top grossing films of the year.