Movie Mirrors Index

Gold Diggers of 1935

(1935 b 95')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Busby Berkeley directed this musical about a penurious millionaire who puts on a charity show at a hotel, where many want a piece of the action.

Louis Lamson (Grant Mitchell) explains that the hotel caters to the wealthiest and does not pay wages; but workers keep all their tips except what their supervisors take. Clerk Dick Curtis (Dick Powell) is in medical school. Millionaire Mrs. Prentiss (Alice Brady) tips a quarter for four porters. Her daughter Ann (Gloria Stuart) asks her for new clothes. T. Mosely Thorpe (Hugh Herbert) uses snuff and calls on Ann, who tells him to leave. Mrs. Prentiss wants Ann to marry Thorpe. Ann agrees if she can have fun first. Dick tells Mrs. Prentiss where she can get a cheap dinner. She offers him $5,000 to escort Ann. Dick asks his fiancée Arlene (Dorothy Dare), and she encourages him to take it for the money. Ann goes shopping with Dick, as he sings "I'm Going Shopping With You." Her mother screams and faints when she sees the bill for the $12,000 bracelet.

Lamson asks Nicoleff (Adolphe Menjou) to pay his bill, but he just complains about the hotel. Nicoleff agrees to direct Mrs. Prentiss's show for $2,500. She wants cheap sets from Schultz (Joseph Cawthorn). In the moonlight on a lake Dick sings to Ann "The Words Are In My Heart." Mrs. Prentiss lost a third of her income. So Nicoleff goes to Thorpe and gets him to back two-thirds of the show. Thorpe's secretary Betty (Glenda Farrell) and Schultz argue with Nicoleff about splitting the extra third; Lamson wants a cut too. Humboldt Prentiss (Frank McHugh) tells his mother he's in love with Arlene. Dick kisses Ann. Arlene sees and ends the engagement, since she found a rich man. Nicoleff rehearses the dancers, and Mrs. Prentiss asks Thorpe to write a song. Betty writes a marriage proposal as lyrics and gets him to sign it.

At the show Mrs. Prentiss takes in $7500 and hands the money to Thorpe. Betty offers him the proposal for the money, or she will sue for breach of promise. Dick tells Mrs. Prentiss that he and Ann are going to marry. She orders Ann to marry Thorpe, but she refuses.

In the show Dick sings, and 56 pianos revolve. Mrs. Prentiss tells Thorpe to marry Ann, but reporters question him about his lawsuit. She angrily pushes him into a bush and gets her money back. She asks Humboldt to thrash Thorpe; but he's just married and going on a honeymoon. Trying to leave, Thorpe is hounded by reporters. Wini Shaw sings the Oscar-winning "Lullaby of Broadway," and a Broadway day shows a chorus girl sleeping all day and staying out all night. Hundreds of tap dancers keep in time. Mrs. Prentiss tells Dick and Ann they won't get any of her money, but in the final scene she accepts a doctor in the family to save on medical bills.

Numerous attempts to squeeze money out of the rich add comedy to this extravagant musical directed by the master of movie choreography.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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