Gold Diggers of 1937


Comedy / Musical

IMDb Rating 6.5


Downloaded 247 times
9/11/2019 9:15:22 AM

101 min
P/S 83 / 119

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 7

The next to last of the Gold Digger films finds Dick Powell as a rather unenthusiastic insurance salesman who&#39;d rather be in show business, roped into selling an insurance policy to hypochondriac Broadway producer Victor Moore. <br/><br/>Moore&#39;s got bigger problems than imaginary illnesses. He&#39;s got a couple of crooked partners in Charles D. Brown and Osgood Perkins. They&#39;ve taken money from Moore and put in some stock that went belly up. Now to get the money back they have a scheme to insure Moore and then maybe push him along into eternity. In fact they almost trip him into it during the film.<br/><br/>Joan Blondell is a former chorus girl now turned stenographer at the insurance company office and she gets her friends together with Powell and Lee Dixon from the company and they help Moore out.<br/><br/>Gold Diggers of 1937 doesn&#39;t have quite the madcap lunacy of the 1935 edition, but still there&#39;s a lot of entertainment there. Busby Berkeley gets only two numbers here to demonstrate is creativity, Let&#39;s Put Our Heads Together and the finale All&#39;s Fair in Love and War. Powell solos with With Plenty of Money and You and he duets with current wife Blondell in Speaking of the Weather.<br/><br/>Lee Dixon was a very talented dancer who graced a few musical films and then went east to Broadway and made his biggest splash as Will Parker in the original production of Oklahoma. Dixon died tragically young in 1953. I think he should have gotten some recognition from the Academy for having the nerve to go into this film playing a character named Boop Oglethorpe. <br/><br/>There was only one more round for the Gold Diggers as in their next film they went to Paris and it was ended after that. This version is entertaining enough, even if not up to 1933 or 1935.

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Reviewed by lugonian 7

GOLD DIGGERS OF 1937 (Warner Brothers, 1936), directed by Lloyd Bacon, is the third musical in the yearly-titled series with the choreography by Busby Berkeley. Released in theaters as a Christmas attraction of 1936, I find it to be a notch below the 1935 edition and no where near as good as the one of 1933, but still acceptable entertainment, highlighted with a show-stopping musical finale.<br/><br/>The story begins at a convention in Atlantic City where Andy Callahan (William B. Davidson) of Good Life Insurance Company tries to encourage his salesmen to go out and sell. Rosmer &quot;Ross&quot; Peek (Dick Powell) and &quot;Boop&quot; Oglethorpe (Lee Dixon, in his feature film debut) are his two top insurance salesmen who lead the men into singing their way to the train station for their destination being New York City. While on the train, Boop becomes acquainted with a Southern gal named Sally (Rosalind Marquis); Ross meets up with Norma Perry (Joan Blondell), a stranded showgirl accompanied by Genevieve Larkin (Glenda Farrell), who in turn meets Monty Wethered (Osgood Perkins, father of Anthony Perkins), a crooked backer of JJ Hobart Productions. Rosmer helps Norma by offering her a position as his secretary at the insurance firm. As for Genevieve, she joins forces with Monty&#39;s assistant, Mr. Hugo (Charles D. Brown), another chiseler who has pocketed and lost most of Hobart&#39;s investments. They want to get the 59-year-old theatrical bachelor producer, JJ Hobart (Victor Moore) to take on an insurance policy by having Genevieve arrange to have Norma get Ross to meet up with him. After Hobart passes the million dollar insurance policy physical with Ross hired as his agent, Monty and Hugo try their best to see that Hobart meets with an &quot;accident.&quot; But when all else fails, Hobart eventually does land in the hospital after Genevieve has a change of heart and tells him the truth. It is then up to the younger crowd, who feel that Hobart might die, to do away with the crooks Monty and Hugo and help put Hobart&#39;s upcoming show together.<br/><br/>Songs featured include: &quot;The Life Insurance Song,&quot; &quot;Speaking of the Weather&quot; and &quot;Let&#39;s Put Our Heads Together&quot; By E.Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen; &quot;With Plenty of Money and You&quot; and &quot;All&#39;s Fair in Love and War&quot; by Harry Warren and Al Dubin. Dick Powell, with his pencil-thin mustache, sings &quot;With Plenty of Money and You&quot; before the opening titled cast and credits. He reprises the hit money song to Blondell later on in the story as he accompanies her home from their dinner date. &quot;Speaking of the Weather&quot; also gets to be heard twice, first in the insurance office sung by Powell to Blondell, later sung by guests at the pool and garden party with Lee Dixon doing his &quot;puppet on a string&quot; tap-dancing solo. Also sung during the party sequence is &quot;Let&#39;s Put Our Heads Together&quot; (a pretty tune introduced by Powell). Of the songs presented, &quot;All&#39;s Fair in Love and War&quot; is the only number not part of the storyline. It&#39;s a ten minute staged production, part of the JJ Hobart Revue, compliments of Busby Berkeley and his display of chorus girls marching in military fashion and flag waving. This well choreographed finale was nominated for Best Dance Direction, and one of the few highlights of the film.<br/><br/>Victor Moore, a pudgy bald character actor of numerous comedies, comes off best here. Besides being an amusing comedian whose catch phrase if, &quot;Life begins at 59,&quot; the scene that stands out most is the moment he gets sentimental in telling gold-digger Genevieve (Farrell) of he being a lonely old man of the theater whose life has now been fulfilled by her presence in making him feel young again, and now wanting to marry her. Even Farrell manages to present herself as a gold-digger with a heart of gold, and she carries this particular scene well without making it appear silly. As for Powell, his character at times appears to be more foolish than funny, but makes up for it during the romantic and singing spots.<br/><br/>THE GOLD DIGGERS OF 1937 became available on DVD in 2008, and can bee seen broadcast on Turner Classic Movies. Look fast for a young Jane Wyman in the early portion of the movie with one line, &quot;Happy days are here again&quot; as she and other show girls watch a parade of insurance men entering the train, and Susan Fleming (Mrs. Harpo Marx) in a small role as a secretary billed as Lucille. (***)

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Reviewed by the red duchess 9

Busby Berkeley&#39;s films are the most concentrated tease in the history of movies. it is over an hour into &#39;Gold Diggers of 1937&#39; before we get any real meat - an astonishing, gossamer-erotic Gatsby-orgy filmed in the manner of Riefenstahl, all glowing Aryan bodies with their glistening mammillae, and idealised framing; with the kind of multi-character cutting of a song Paul Thomas Anderson would borrow for &#39;Magnolia&#39;; and a magnificent extended tap-dance leading to an agreeable Berkeley fancy, the huge male dancer hand-standing over a bridge of female arms like a fly evading a web - after two tantalising duets featuring Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler that threaten to explode into full-blown imaginative hysteria, but are cut short. <br/><br/>Of course, this is the Berkeley method - coitus interruptus - and our deferred gratification is mirrored in a plot where the hero must prove himself worthy of the heroine before he can have her; the final extravaganza thus functions as a sexual/marriage rite, concluding in a consummating kiss. And what an extravaganza it is - less overt than &#39;1935&#39;, but full of fetishised phallic implements, swirling clitoral circles and rocking chairs. Against a sharp black background, our phosphorescent heroes play out their immemorial rites, the heterosexual struggle linked to war (and not to the men&#39;s advantage). This idea leads to some striking sequences, including a priapic cannon with a pair of adjacent ball-piles, and a scene of &#39;trench&#39; warfare, where the skirted female soldiers in &#39;No Man&#39;s Land&#39; triumph through a blitzkrieg of firearms and perfume. There is no way actual sex could ever be better than this.<br/><br/>It is traditional in celebrating Busby Berkeley movies to denigrate the plots as amiable, necessary time-passers before the visual disruption. I always find them highly entertaining, and &#39;1937&#39; has one of the best: an excellently plotted farce combining gold-diggers, an inept salesman, a hypochondriac theatre impressario and his corrupt sidekicks. <br/><br/>This fun plot is noticeable for two things - the extraordinary sexual honesty that persists in spite of Messrs. Hays&#39; and Breen&#39;s best efforts: this is a Depression where a woman must prostitute herself for a meal, never mind a marriage; as Glenda Farrell says &#39;It is so hard to be good under the capitalistic system&#39; (!). The film opens with Powell insisting on the link between financial security and marriage, and the glistening sea of gold moistening the opening credits certainly have a sexual force.<br/><br/>More enjoyable is the portrait of the two heels who try to kill their boss having lost all his money in a Stock Exchange scam, hoping to cash in on his insurance. this kind of plot is quite shocking in such a genre, and we are expected to laugh at various unsuccessful murder attempts (and we do: the whispers for help when they hurl JJ into the pool are hilarious). These are not cartoon villains but the kind of middle-aged, middle class men we might meet in film noir or the novels of Simenon, men whose souls have been made hard by routine, and the American insistence on success. They would have made good collaborators.<br/><br/>In 1933, the &#39;Gold Diggers&#39; poignantly recorded the effects of the Depression: things haven&#39;t really improved four years later, but, significantly, the idea is emerging that if you throw enough razzmatazz, noise, bands and empty phrases at a problem it will go away. it&#39;s not for nothing that the two leads are an insurance man and an actress. Powell is amiable in a silly moustache, sillier name and a cheerful pessimism; Blondell is bubbly and serious and lovely as ever; the revelation, however, are Glenda Farrell, convincingly transforming from cynical modern woman to accomplice of scoundrels to loving wife; and Victor Moore, as the inimitable, whining, lonely JJ.

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