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Screening #2: Gold Diggers of 1933

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During the Great Depression four poor actresses and a Broadway show unexpectedly get financial support from a young and aspiring musician. But from where did he get that much money?

Joan Blondell and Dick Powell (who were married from 1936-1944), Ruby Keeler, Warren William and a young Ginger Rogers (famous for her later partnership with Fred Astaire) are starring in this highly entertaining musical film directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Filmed on a budget of estimated 433,000 US $, the movie features four gorgeous dance sequences by legendary choreography Busby Berkeley (1895-1974). All songs are composed by Harry Warren, who gained in his career three Oscars and eight nominations and wrote many standards like “Jeepers Creepers”, “Chattanooga Choo Choo” or “Lullaby of Broadway”.

Gold Diggers of 1933 gained great commercial success, but was actually one of the first American films being altered before distribution in order to avoid state censorship. In 2003, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

IMDb link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0024069/?ref_=sr_2

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26 responses to “Screening #2: Gold Diggers of 1933

  1. Endless Dusk ⋅

    … Can we talk about why they chose to end the film with that particular musical number? I mean, I get it… The film is about the Depression, about the role of money in society, and men’s and women’s roles in society and the misconceptions about women in general, but why end the film with such a heartbreaking song? Furthermore, I don’t want to be the first one to point out the sexist undertone (“cause ever since the world’s began, a woman’s got to have a man”) because Americans like to read sexist and racial undertones in everything, but in this case…. Really? (Although, the song was written by Harry Warren, who also wrote the music for the musical “42nd Street” and had many other hits as well. He was known to be a misogynist).

    That being said, when you overlook that, the song is quite heart wrenching. Men were heroes who fought the war, and worked the land, but then he was tossed aside and skills no longer had any value. The imagery in the closing number caught the spirit of the Depression very well. And after all, that was the theatre director’s goal: to write a musical about the Depression (incidentally, the musical director happened to be my favorite character in the film).

    The cinematography for the musical number scenes must have been impressive for its time. I imagine the audience enjoyed it, as the intricate scenes and fancy, rich costumes provided some escape from the desperation of that era. I also enjoyed the snappy, witty dialogue between these strong women.

    I can also understand the censorship controversy. I mean, “pettin’ in the park?” We all know what that’s about. And cutting open lady’s metal underwear, with that little kid peeping everywhere? Also, some of the dialogue was just slightly risqué, although since it was so quick and pithy, you had to pay close attention to catch it.

    That ending, though…

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  2. sumdood ⋅

    The presentation of the film and the execution don’t quite match. At the beginning it’s said that the show is about to be about the Great Depression yet we have some random show going on until like the last 5 or so minutes when it actually becomes.. depressing then it just ends. Also the title of the movie contradicts the message the girls in the movie are trying to say so in the end we’re wondering so are they actually gold diggers or…? Just exactly who to call the “main character” is pretty confusing.
    As for technical stuff, because of the old equipment and old accent from back then, it was hard to understand what they were singing sometimes. The shots were really well done though, especially the artistic bird’s eye shots with kaleidoscope-like sequences. (Those light up violins were pretty cool). The camera moved smoothly and followed the action of the show well.
    Another little bit that was surprising to me was that the main focus was on mostly the female characters. Surprising to me knowing the mindset of older America.
    Oh, also people in the 1930s seem kind of gullible and don’t question things (that’s you, piano guy).
    Overall though, it was an enjoyable film.

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  3. Chloe ⋅

    I really enjoyed this film. Compared to the film of silent era, “Gold Diggers of 1933” is obviously a more modern film in many ways.
    First of all, it’s not a monochrome film, so we clearly see a brave show or a dazzling landscape in the film. Also, “Gold Diggers of 1933” has the lines in the film, so the contents of this film is easy to understand.
    Since this film is a musical film, we would see a lot of musical scenes. In the film, characters are dancing and singing as their performance at a musical theater, and they do a good performance in terms of doing the same steps with other performers and moving closely together. I thought the camera work of this scene is really good because it’s smoothly moving around the performers and that makes me feel like I want to see more scenes of their performance.

    I also like that this film has two main types of scenes, which are reality and stage. It’s really fun and not boring to see two different types of scenes.

    When I watched this film, actually I was surprised that “Gold Diggers of 1933” was made in 1933 and it has been only a five year since “Sunrise” was made. Through this film, we all know that the film technology was developing rapidly at that time.

    Since “Gold Diggers of 1933” has a gorgeous musical scenes and an interesting story line, I like this film so much.

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  4. lala ⋅

    “Gold Diggers of 1933” starts with the scene of musical, and I think that the beginning of this film catches the audiences’ attention so much. The musical scene indicates the characteristic in 1933 which we rarely see in the recent period. I like the beginning scene of this film because the music and dance are amazing. Also, this scene makes the audience to imagine what will happen next. In addition, it is still a black and white film, but it has dialogues. In “Sunrise” which we watched before in the class, it has no dialogues, so it has limited techniques of filming, and the story itself is more simple than other modern films. However, “Golden Diggers of 1933” has so many dialogues, so the story is much more complicated than “Sunrise”. Moreover, this story contains many humorous scenes. For example, women tried men to buy hats many times, and these are the same price. This scene makes the audience laugh. One more thing which I noticed is the use of camera. The camera moves a lot in this film, so it shows so many different angles. This point cannot be seen in the previous film, so it is also the prominent progress of the film.

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  5. bluebird of happiness ⋅

    The film start and end with the performance of showgirls. At the beginning of the film, camera moves from extreme close up shot to long shot. By the movement of the camera, we can see how big the stage is and there are how many performers on the stage.
    At first, I thought Brad Roberts is a weird and untrustful guy. He always said “there is a reason why I can’t do it”. His attitude makes me think that he is neither a bad guy nor a good guy. He is only a normal guy who likes to play around with showgirls. However, as the film moves on, I change my mind. Brad is really a good and wealthy guy that will protect and help the person he loves.
    As far as I am concerned, among the three main characters: Polly, Carol, and Trixie, Trixie is the only one who is a real gold digger from beginning to the end of the film. Carol is also a gold digger at first, but Carol turns into a normal girl who will live for her love, not for money.
    Finally, I love every performance that showgirls present. It is amazing and fantastic. The most remarkable scene in this film is when showgirls light up their violas and turn down the light on the stage. That scene is gorgeous. (I assume the instruments that showgirls play on the performance is violas not violins.)

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  6. emicanna ⋅

    The first impression of this film was simply amazing to me. There are couple of reasons for the impression. First of all, the acting was very professional and unique. The voice of tone and the way they perform their screenplay was very interesting, and sometimes I even felt they changed their accent purposely. Also, the talking tempo was the key because it creates the entire mood of this film.
    Secondly, all the camera works and effects on the props definitely amazed me. At the time, there must have had some technical limits because the technology is unlikely current level. But still I could see the several angle shots such as vertical potions. And also I believe that without this camera work, this film cannot capture the Busby Berkeley style which has significant means in this musical film. Additionally, I was really impressed how the music, the camera angles, and the light of the props sync each other.
    Lastly, I feel “Gold Digger” is not simple comedy musical film, but it strongly appeals to the audience for social problem and struggles. By focusing on the showgirls’ life, the director shows us the reality of people’s life during depression in America. And it becomes realism in this film. The financial struggles and the gender bias was well depicted as well. For instance, the scene where the girls have to stay all together at the small apartment after their show gets canceled, which portrays how the life at the moment was tough and hard to live without helping each other.
    If I compare to the last screening, “Sunrise”, Gold Digger have much advanced and has deep meaning in the film. I could also enjoyed all the Mise-en-scene and see the lots of effort of the creative side as well. So, this film would be absolutely one of my favorite film.

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  7. TUYN ⋅

    I really enjoyed the film “Gold Diggers of 1933.” There are some points I liked about this film.
    One of the points I liked about this film is a background. This film was made during the great depression, so I thought this film was going to be sad or depressing film, but this film was very cheerful and happy film. Of course, there are some scenes that explain the background of great depression. For instance, at the very beginning of the film, the stage was closed down because of unpaid bill, and girls who lived in share house were so poor and they had to steal neighbor’s milk. These scenes explain the great depression. Another point that I liked was the its camera work, especially during the stage performance. The excellent camera work and excellent stage performance were very interesting to watch. Also, starting from the musical performance at the beginning of the film was the good idea to get audience attention.
    The ending of this film surprised me because most girls ended up marrying to rich men. The happy scene didn’t make us think that the film was made during the great depression. Probably, this film had a message to the country and wanted to make audience feel happy so that people can move on to the next step even though many people were suffering at that time.

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  8. Anna ⋅

    I really enjoyed the musical numbers in “Gold Diggers.” Although they didn’t really develop the story, they were very well choreographed and filmed. Mostly the songs provided atmosphere for the following events. ‘We’re in the Money’ contrasted the actual financial state of the production, ‘Pettin’ in the Park’ foreshadow the comical relationships that were about to be introduced, ‘The Waltz’ signaled a more serious and intimate relation between the girls and their men, and ‘Forgotten Man’ signaled the end of the play as the audience returned to their less-than-ideal lives. The violin scene was especially fun to watch. Every so often some of the dancers were a bit out of sync, but overall the songs were the best part of the film.

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  9. Gleb Torubarov ⋅

    At first, Gold Diggers of 1933 appeared to me as something very simple or even trivial in the way the story is written. However, by the end of the film, the last scene overshadowed distracting technical parts (focusing problems) and the absence of a conflict in many scenes (like the guy says okay on anything he is asked for). The film could prove that it has a way more to tell besides a simple story about poor women and rich men.

    I liked amazing outfits and fantastic camera work of Busby Berkeley. His dazzling dances and unusual camera angles reminded me my favorite choreographer Bob Fosse (though I have no idea whether Fosse was influenced by Berkeley or not).

    The picture reminded me another film of 1941 “Sallivan’s Travels”, in which ambitious film director Sallivan leaves his office in Hollywood, and goes to the countryside for a “real life” experience, so he will be able to shoot stories that matter. At the end of the film, after Sallivan had seen people in desperation, he comes back and decides to shoot comedies because people need a chance to escape from the reality. They need some hope.

    Watching Gold Diggers I thought about Hollywood of that time; the country is in depression, and Hollywood is struggling. Which way to go: shall they entertain people and show something unrealistic? Or should they show the ugly truth? Many movies of that time were doing either one, however, Gold Diggers went further and killed two birds with one stone by their dramatic “come back to earth” final scene.

    The importance of Gold Diggers in the past cannot be underestimated, however I believe that nowadays film industry is on the crossroad again: it either shows us a fairy tale, or harshly tells us the truth. To get a balance of it, new filmmakers should review Gold Diggers – there’s much to learn.

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  10. Mikako ⋅

    When the film started, I was surprised by its technology and each musical scene. The story is also fun with full of humor. For me, “Gold Diggers of 1933” was the first time to see the movie which was filmed in 1930s. This is because I have seen similar musical scenes or humor in recent movies. 
    The camera works and movement were much developed from “Sunrise” even though this film was shown to publish only about five years after “Sunrise.”
    I especially like the scene which roller skating policemen chase the baby. I think the baby is one of the best character who can make the audience laugh easily. Also, this scene reminded me of “Sunrise” the man chasing the pig. 
    Every musical scene catches the audience attention, so I think any generation can watch this movie without being bored. 

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  11. Snow Fairy ⋅

    I was pleasantly surprised by this film. Despite only a few year gap between the production of this and “Sunrise”, it shows a great amount of technical and artistic development. As mentioned in a few other responses, the camera shots were very impressive (take for example some of the shots in the last musical number); so much, in fact, that I was surprised to find out how early this film was created. Additionally, the planning of such musical numbers, as well as the acting in the film has progressed significantly from the silent era. No longer are they stage actors being filmed- they are true Hollywood actors.
    What was most enjoyable, however, was not the technical development, but the story line. It shows more complex development- although some characters still aren’t realistically developed (Brad)- and more ‘modern’ humor. The humor reminded me of classic sitcoms, namely “I Love Lucy”.
    One topic that was brought up was the significance of the ‘true’ gold digger. Some viewers disliked this, others saw it as empowering. I feel it added more realism; while many stage actresses are not gold diggers, there will be a few that are. While she did not love the man for his personality, in the end, he also did not truly love her for her personality, but for her looks. In this aspect, they were in a mutually fulfilling relationship.
    The unrealistic part was how everyone ended up finding their ‘soul mate’ of sorts and lived happily ever after. However, in such a hard economic time, I believe it is important for the entertainment industry to do just that-entertain- and to give hope and inspire dreams in the audience.

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  12. Miraijinnohara ⋅

    This film shows completely different plot from “Sunrise”. This is in 1935 during the economically depression. The economical crashed society very strongly reflected to this film showing how it shows gender roles of females and males, and how the depression affects to American citizens.

    “Golden Diggers of 1935” reminds me of “Great Gatsby” that represents a woman’s voice is like money. At the begging of the scene of Golden Diggers of 1935, all girls are dressing up like money and so gorgeous. They are portrayed as very strong and independence from males. People at this period were vey anxious about money. It shows money is very powerful, and can control people’s mind. Therefore, I think, this film objectified women as money and showed how they (money) have strong power for the society.

    “Flappy Girls” here is expressed in a good way comparing to “sunrise”. Because of the depression, gender roles might be changing little by little. Men who used to support economical development tended to be portrayed as idiot. They think that they are controlling women; however, actually females manipulate males. In this film, they do not know that they are manipulated by women, but they think they can control females. On the other hand, females know how they can control over males and become financially wealth. Here, they are expressed as very smart girls who know how to survive in this situation, unlike idiot guys.

    It simplified a message of humanity. There was a huge gap between rich and poor at this period. In the real world, upper class think they can not be together with poor people. In this movie, it tried to tell the class does not matter, and to embrace all classes.
    The ending is a brilliant commentary on problems encountered by people of all walks during the depression. Suddenly, the gorgeous stage that we had been watching switched to the reality of the depression. We can hear all labors’ grievous cry at the last number. This film’s plot is well balanced between reality and fantasy. It is made as a easy and powerful movie to understand social background, and gender roles at this era.

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  13. simoastronaut ⋅

    More than anything I really liked the characters in this film. I think there’s a very good balance as each actor has a certain quality. In fact it is clear what their purposes are. One wants to marry, one wants revenge, and one is actually a gold digger. I think those are some good plot mechanism that makes the movie fun and dynamic. It is also very interesting how these three girls move the plot forward while the men are easily manipulated by them.
    I also find the man in the role of the producer to be really entertaining. I like how in the beginning he envisions the play about the depression. Also, I find the choreography to be spectacular considering the technology they had at time period.

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  14. momoko ⋅

    I really enjoyed this film. This movie was filmed in 1930’s, but I thought that many of techniques had greatly developed compared to the film “Sunrise.”
    I actually do not like musical film very much because some musical movies use only songs to show character’s feeling, but I like this film “Gold Diggers” as it contains music and words equally. The scene I remember the most was that the policemen skating are chasing a baby, and the scene women are dancing which taken from the above. I think that people today also enjoy this film because there are a lot of shots which entertain people’ attention.
    Moreover, the story was fun to watch since it contains a lot of humor. I enjoyed how female characters tempt to male characters. For instance, I remembered female character tries male characters to buy a hut and dress. I especially liked the way female characters speak because it shows the power of women. In the movie, gender role was represented. Female role had changed than before, and they are represented as strong women. They talk very fast and confident with themselves, so I could see it shows how women live at that time.
    Overall, I like this film very much.

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  15. Maddie

    There are so many aspects of this film which I find ingenious and progressive for the film industry. I loved all of the scenes where the theater’s stage filled every inch of the frame and the viewer is given a magical kaleidoscope effect. These shots were epic, but what I appreciated even more was the depiction of the women in this film. I brought this up in class, so I believe it is only right to talk about it now here – to gather my thoughts. In the beginning we see many women acting out a musical number, all about gold. Yes, we could take from this that we are only getting a film about gold digging, selfish women. However, they were working for that money. They were outraged when the play was cut, and then they (the four main women) worked together to make it into the next possible play – which ends up actually happening. This unification of women is crazy to me! Even now it is difficult to find in a film a group of women working together in a competitive field, supporting each other.

    Not only that, but all through out the film the women are moving the action. Yes, they are on the stage looking pretty, but they move the entire plot on both the stage and in the film. Their wit is the aspect that comes through the most: they fool the men into getting their way with them. However, to end here would not do the film justice. After they get what they want they do not prove to be heartless, or really gold diggers at all. They fall in love with the men and show that they are not just the manipulative type, but still retain feelings that only women are able to project. I believe that Mervyn LeRoy gave us many different perspectives of women that did not contradict each other or make them seem shallow. It was an honest portrayal of women with fabulous shots and amazing art direction.

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  16. mewpudding101 ⋅

    I really enjoyed this film. However, I realized at the title screen that I had seen it many years ago. I still really like it, and it might be my favorite film from that era.

    Unlike many comedy films from this era, this film does not focus on the stiff image of what a woman should be, and does not push a stereotype; In fact, the humor in this film is quite modern for its time, and does not focus on slapstick or the like.

    As for the cinematography, it was gorgeous, using visual techniques not expected of this era. One of the most visually shocking scenes was the final dance scene with all of the girls, with the camera looking from above at multiple violins glowing in the dark. The glowing violins even moved to form a giant violin shape.

    As the professor mentioned, things in this film were censored, leading to some strange cuts near the end. This might be why the film ended on such a strange note. However, I still do not understand why the elder brother was so opposed at the end, and then suddenly was blessing their marriage without any confrontation. It didn’t make any sense.

    I still enjoy this movie quite a bit, with its witty acting and comedy, and the relationships between the characters. Although some of the comedy comes from the corniness the film is doused in, some of it is solid humor. I would not hesitate to have this movie in my collection.

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  17. Minnie ⋅

    Gold Diggers of 1933, a musical love story film, is totally different from recent musical films, and this film is good. I enjoyed watching it, and I also enjoyed finding differences. We definitely can see the technical development. The music numbers from the film are worked by Busby Berkeley, and he wrote some other musical songs. The big difference between the musical number of this film and musical numbers of recent musical films is that the songs are more jazzy music. The songs are symbolizes the time. In the most scenes of film, the actors and actresses sing a song and dance, and the camera work is better than Sunrise. The film uses new technique of camera angle that the cameraman shoots the actress from the top. Even though this technique is already used in some films, this technique is still amazing. The story of the film is more comical, and the pace of story is speedier but not too fast. Also, this is what happened behind the beautiful stage, so the audiences can see the film from the totally different perspective.
    Instead of the technique of film, I suggest that the audiences tend to focus on actress and music numbers. Speaking of the actress, many people, especially female people, consider that those films are more like male-oriented films because of sexiness and beauty of actress. I personally agree with that the film seems little sexual considering the time. I focus on the sense of fashion, and at that time, female people rarely show their legs or even ankles, but when the actresses sing their songs (ex. The first song of the film, “We’re in the Money”), they show their beautiful legs. Gold Diggers of 1933 is lacking little of seriousness, but it makes the film quite different from other films.

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  18. Ian Ulman ⋅

    (Continued, because I accidentally sent the last comment before I was done)

    At the narrative level, the film had strange plot holes. In the beginning the producer made a big deal about how their play would be all about men marching and plodding on through the depression, but the bits of the play we saw right until the end had nothing to do with that. Petting in the Park has nothing to do with the depression, so why was that the major musical number? It seems like a strange choice.

    The other issue was the ending. All of their problems just sort of evaporated for no reason. Brad’s brother wasn’t convinced to change his mind by Carol. Instead, the idea that he objected to Brad’s marriage just sort of vanished going into the last song. The plot was never resolved, we’re just supposed to assume that it worked out somehow.

    Still, despite having a somewhat weak narrative, the film was popular and successful. This is probably because the audience, both on release and now, were more concerned with clever dialogue and flashy camera work than with the plot. It showed the films can shore up their weaknesses pretty well.

    I would be interested to see what critics of the time felt about the movie. Many critics today will be quite harsh with a film that is enjoyable and flashy but has a weak plot, and I would be curious to see if critics of the time felt that way about this movie.

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  19. cool cool cool ⋅

    Apparently my low expectations for certain genres of film keep setting me up for pleasant surprises. I like musicals but had kind of side-eyed the bulk of them that didn’t come with the Disney emblem attached, or weren’t based off some already existing broadway production. But the “Gold Diggers of 1993”, with its sort of “musical about a musical”/meta-musical vibe, ended up proving very entertaining. Also it’s nice to be able to put a name to the source of the “We’re In the Money” song- the only one I had been familiar with beforehand.

    But there were a lot of things I liked about this movie. For one, it was fast-paced and sharp. The dialogue was filled with that old-timey sneer, but like, sped up to n’th degree. I felt like if I lived in that world with them I’d have to constantly be on my toes just to keep up with a conversation. But it was cool that for the most part it was the women that were the source of this fast paced wit. The women had character that went beyond the stereotypical withering flower. They were funny, they were independent, occasionally they stole milk- it was a refreshing change of pace from Sunrise, where the message seemed to be that if you were a good woman you were a sheltered woman.

    The movie also made a point about how they shouldn’t be looked down upon despite the fact that they were show girls. Though I find it interesting that they way they portrayed this was by having the two super rich snotty guys stereotype them as being gold diggers. And then they decided to get back at them by…being…gold diggers? Because that’s kind of what I was getting from this. I know, I know that this isn’t exactly what was going on, or that if it was what was going on it was mostly just a joke, and it was all fine because the rich guy’s brother okayed it all anyway, but still. There were moments watching that I actually got a little uncomfortable with how much they were taking advantage. Sure, it was in response to the men’s presumptions and insult but once they started wrapping up feelings into the mix, or more specifically, when the old lawyer fell for the, let’s say, most tenacious of the women—the one who really spearheaded the whole thing—I felt legitimately bad for him. Of course this was before I realized she was actually going to marry him. That part kind of seemed out of nowhere since she had been going on about how much she didn’t care for him and how she was only using him for his money… but I guess this got us our happy ending!

    Happy ending, that is, if you ignore the fact that the movie closed on a musical number about the depression and how the government had kind of turned its back on the men that had fought for it not long ago. It was the whole movie had wrapped up all its loose ends and then the director (or producer?) decided that the audience should leave the theater with a political message in their heads. It was a little off-mood in comparison with the rest of the film, which had a feel more of a whacky comedy-of-errors feel, but at the same time, we did know from the start that this new great musical they were all in was focused on the depression. So basically we were warned. It was a little difficult to remember though since all the musical numbers that came beforehand, didn’t exactly seem to fit the theme, be they jaunty ditties about public petting, or crooning love songs set to flashy violins.

    The musical numbers provided the majority of the whaaaaaaaat is happening moments (This movie taught me that a tin corset cant stop a man determined to feel some skin if there’s a baby with a can opener nearby, and I don’t know how I feel about that.) but also at the same time showed some pretty impressive choreography and visuals, especially when you consider what period this was from.

    Overall, I’d say “Golddiggers of 1993” was a funny success.

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  20. Pinkpearl ⋅

    When I first began this movie I thought, “This is gonna be stupid, it’s an old movie so how good can it be?” However I was proven wrong a thousand times over. I can honestly say that I thought that this movie was pretty good for that day and time. The term ‘Golddiggers’ is not new but I feel that this film gave ma an behind the scenes look at what they type of people who attempt to gold dig thing and may go through. The acting was very good and I found my self very impressed with it. I really liked the comedic aspect of this film.
    This film also showed me another side to women at that time. The dainty delicate woman that waits for a man to save her is nowhere in sight in this film.

    I do not know a lot about shooting but the shots seemed to be very complex and the overall quality of the filming I think was very good. There were some unrealistic aspects to this film such as the ending, but that’s why it’s a movie. Like a lot of films at that time, they wanted the audience to leave the theatre with a positive feeling.

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  21. abc ⋅

    I really liked the movie “Golddiggers of 1993”. The camera work and production value were amazing. I wonder how hard it was to film all those musical parts from several different camera angles in a time where the resources were quite limited. The music is great and the choreographies are outstanding.
    Also, I really like the way the director treated the women in the movie as independent. None of them are house wives or submissive to their partner. They seem to be in control of the situation all the time.
    Finally, i think the way the director chose to portray the depression was very clever. Especially at the end, where all of the characters have a happy ending out-stage, but a dramatic one in-stage (opposing from the beginning of the movie).

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  22. Rara ⋅

    This movie was filmed during the great depression, and it reflects the society of the period well. We could see how the gender role was and how the people life was affected by the economical depression. When I was actually watching this film in class, I did not really know that it was filmed during the great depression, and how people’s life was at the time, so I thought it overly describes women in a sexual way. However, as I kept watching at the end and know the background knowledge at this time, I realized that this film shows the reflection of the society at the moment. Female had to depends on men to live in the time period because females were not financially independent. Even though women had to depend on men, unlike the country girl in “sunrise,” they seem strong and they wisely use their sex to control men for the better life.

    Since it has a lot of musical scenes, I could enjoy the songs and dances. Their dances were very enjoyable and entertaining. The songs match the each scenes and helps audience to understand the situation better.
    Also, the camera work was quite smooth to make the stage scene be attractive. I could see a lot technical improvement from “Sunrise,” in not only the camera work but also in many ways such as the sound and the plot, etc.

    From the title “Gold Diggers” of 1993, I was imagined that this story is about the cunning women who love money; however, it was so, but the story also has deeper meaning. It describes the struggling and reality of human life reflects the time period, with humor. They made the amazing show because they could have money from men. The ending was surprised me, but I liked this film, especially the stage scene.

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  23. emiferrie ⋅

    Golddigger of 1933 is a delightful film that addresses important social issues such as gender role and class separation with a constant upbeat sense of humor. At times, the pace of events and dialogue between the characters are extremely speedy and too seamless to be considered realistic. However, I found this sense of too-good-to-be-true aspect of the movie refreshing, because it seems nowadays, movies try to hard to recreate reality – I personally think movies should offer a feeling of escape and fantasy.

    What surprised me the most was how modern this movie felt. Although it cannot be compared to the high tech cameras, computer graphics, and other modern appliances that movies nowadays utilize, Golddiggers of 1933 did not seem as archaic as I had imagined beforehand, especially with all the risque scenes and smart dialogue. It was exciting to imagine what a revolutionary sensation this movie was at the time.

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  24. Maxine Abram ⋅

    Gold Diggers of 1933, is an exciting film about the life of people living in the depression in the 1930s. The musical numbers for me is what really stood out. Busby Berkeley does an amazing job on the choreography. The musical scene that stood out to me the most was “Pettin’ in the Park”. I will say the effects on beautifully done and the camera work is amazing for its time. However, I did find the subject matter in that scene inappropriate not because of the sexy women but the rapey undertones. The metal chastity suit pretty much symbolizes the woman not wanting to submit herself to the man. When he uses the can opener literally behind her back it sends many misogynist messages. I did like that compare do the women on stage; the actresses in real life are not going to succumb to any man. It shows that women are not always the delicate flower but they too have an opinion. The love story also shift from Polly and Brad, to Brad’s brother and Carol. Although it’s not much of a “twist” it did keep the story a little more interesting. The one thing I really didn’t like about the film was the fact that the ending ended so soon.

    Maxine

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  25. Beyonslay

    Gold Diggers of 1933 was, for me, a very nostalgic look at a time that I’ve never actually been a part of. I find it interesting that an institution such as the American entertainment machine can find a way to shape the culture of the times so much, so that the children, and even grandchildren of a given generation can feel a sense of connection to their films.

    I thought the Busby Berkeley choreography was fascinating. It’s a kind of choreography that is, to this day, as iconic it was when it was first created. The parallels between different movies and televisions shows immediately struck me, as well as more personally in my own figure skating career. Being apart of Theatre On Ice and synchronized skating, I’ve taken for granted the ramification of the choreography that was created by Busby Berkeley, and can see it now in so much of what I’ve done in figure skating.

    As for the film itself, I found the love story really interesting. I’ve never been a fan of the kind of romantic kiss where the man functionally overpowers the woman until she relents and gives him what he wants. To me, it seems rather dark and not the kind of love that the media I consume tends to perpetuate. Granted, this film is exceedingly dated and the people of the times weren’t as literate on gender issues and such, but part of me really wants to know what people find so fascinating with the idea that you must relentlessly pursue the object of your affection until they feel the same way for you. In film, this is expressed insofar as the romantic kiss between the main two actors, but in real life, I’m not so sure it would’ve played out that way.

    All-in-all this film was truly a spectacle, and I think that’s how I’m going to interact with it. As a spectacle, and less a piece of reality made in film.

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  26. bes ⋅

    so, this is second time for me to write a blog entry for this film, “Gold Diggers in 1933″ because my entry gone and just disappeared. Since I read some plot and saw a trailer on youtube, I recall this film clearly.
    Anyway, I like this film and is fun to watching even I was kinda surprised at the too happy ending. The first thing that I was surprised and moved is the huge scale of the set musical dance in the beginning scenes of this film. The scale of the set is gorgeous of course, and the organized dance is also very beautiful. especially the musical of ” Remember My Forgotten Man” is intense.
    I also like the plot and concept of this film. I have seen some other black-white films that cover broad way musical, but have not seen the musical film just after the stock market crush. Even in this film the producer does not have any money to play his show. I thought the reality after the market crush and situation in this film clearly match, and that was one of the reasons of the hit of this film. At the same time, this film was made in 1933 which is only about 4 yeas from the stock market crush. I cannot believe how the actual producer of this film, Robert Lord and Jack L. Warner, were able to collect money to make this film including the gigantic settings. I am sure that people,at that time, could not have hopes and fun because of the great depression. That’s why people often want to escape from the tough reality even at least in music, films, literature, and so on. So, I am sure that people enjoyed more than we do.
    About the story, to be honest, I did not like the ending. I mean there are three couples. I know this ending is of course happy ending and much better than unhappy without saying. Plus, I understood the title “Gold Diggers” means the girls who found the rich guys in the end. However, at the same time, I could not help feeling sorry to the guys, especially the lower. I know Brad, the song writer and the main actor later, likes Polly from the beginning, and Polly likes him too. Its OK. About Lawrence and Carol, they are OK too because there are clear scenes that they are getting notice that they are getting interested in each other and feel frustration too. I like these descriptions and their acting. However, the lower of Brad’s family, he looks like he is just ripped off the woman, Trixie. In other words, he is just used as a wallet for Trixie. He is not handsome and unfortunately but a rich man. Trixie is, on the other hand, beautiful and poor. And, he is much older than Trixie. Even if there was a love between them, I could not see it in film. I wish I could see him as a earnest and strict guy just like he was when he and Lawrence came to NYC to see what Brad is doing, even Trixie tries to attract him with her beauty and youth in order to get his money.
    What I mean is that even the girls could got the rich guys as “Gold”, between Brad and Polly, and Lawrence and Carol, there are love at the same time as far as I saw. However, between the lower and Trixie there is not such a feelings. This point is what I was disappointed.

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