The second talkie version of the Avery Hopwood’s theatrical war-horse The Golddiggers of Broadway, Gold Diggers of 1933 was the second of three back-to-back 1933 Warner Bros. musicals benefiting from the genius of Busby Berkeley.
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A joy to behold. Expertly made with LeRoy getting the solid performances out of the actors in the dialog scenes and Berkeley creating the elaborate song & dance sequences. Berkeley's famous sequences are extraordinary, even veering into the surrealist, putting modern song & dance numbers to shame, which are generally nostalgic rip-offs. A model musical that's also leftist and feminist.
This one has more of an emphasis on plot, rather than dancing and singing. It also has an amazing sequence at the end called 'The Forgotten Man' which actually dealt with the issues of the day. My preference is for the 1935 version simply because the dancing and singing numbers have rarely been equaled in Hollywood history.
Starts as a backstage musical, turns into a sophisticated (and hilarious) gold digger comedy, then hits you in the face with a devastating final plea to remember the Forgotten Man. Aline MacMahon walks off with this movie...a classic performance. Add this to my "movies for a desert isle" list.
Great film, even if the main storyline is quite clichéd. The last sequence, denouncing how war veterans came back to unemployment and neglect, is surprisingly outspoken for the time, apart from visually astonishing.
Berkeley knocks it out of the park with inventive, borderline psychedelic, musical sequences. The rest of the film is a brilliant analysis of the role of entertainment during the Depression. Socially conscious, genuinely funny and terrific performances all around (especially Rogers). I would argue this is the best musical Hollywood ever produced.
Legendary stuff, Blondell shines in this one. LeRoy's direction is amazing, the script is fast paced, like most of the films of this era and the numbers by Busby are perfect. Nothing but love for this one.