GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 (1933) B/W 96m dir: Mervyn LeRoy
w/Warren William, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, Guy Kibbee, Ned Sparks, Ginger Rogers, Clarence Nordstrom, Robert Agnew
Busby Berkeley designed some of his best-known mad dance numbers for this movie. His inspirations include pattern dancing with neon violins and the famous "Remember My Forgotten Man" finale. Blondell and William make a surprisingly steamy team, MacMahon slings the wisecracks, Keeler and Powell are in love, and Ginger Rogers sings "We're in the Money" in pig Latin!
From The Movie Guide: "Pure depression gold. After their success with 42ND STREET, Warner Bros. threw this film together quickly, sensing that they were on to something with movie musicals. Based on 1929's Gold Diggers of Broadway by Avery Hopwood, this Mervyn LeRoy-directed extravaganza not only became a hit but spawned several more films of its ilk [e.g., GOLD DIGGERS OF 1935].
"Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon and Ruby Keeler play a trio of unemployed showgirls who are thrilled when producer Barney Hopkins (Ned Sparks) informs them he's about to start a new show. The problem is that he doesn't have a penny, but Brad Roberts (Dick Powell), a songwriter who is mad for Polly (Keeler) does, and lends Sparks $15,000 to get 'Forgotten Melody' off the ground. The show goes into rehearsal, with Brad taking one of the roles, but the girls wonder if his money is clean, except for Polly, who just knows he's legit. Of course he is. In fact, he's the scion of a wealthy Beacon Hill family; however, his brother, J. Lawrence (Warren William), and a lawyer, Faneuil Hall Peabody (Guy Kibbee), arrive from Boston to put an end to Brad's frivolousness.
"Harry Warren and Al Dubin wrote the excellent songs, and Busby Berkeley did the startling choreography, including a Ginger Rogers-led chorus dressed in gold coin costumes in the extravagant rendition of 'We're in the Money' (which Ginger does in pig Latin). The picture is loaded with inside jokes, including cameo appearances by famed agent Louis Schurr and Berkeley as the 'Call-Boy' (that's the correct term). If you have but one 1930s Warner Bros. musical to see, make it this one. Remade as PAINTING THE CLOUDS WITH SUNSHINE."
GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 was nominated for an Oscar for Best Sound (Nathan Levinson).