Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)

  • The opening “We’re in the Money” number with Ginger Rogers is jaw-dropping…in a scandalous sort of way. Ginger & all the rest of ’em are wearing only coins (yes, coins), and not a lot of them. Oh, so…this is what a musical looked like before the Code!
  • Directed by Mervyn LeRoy & Busby Berkeley.
  • The four girls – Carol (Joan Blondell), Trixie (Aline MacMahon), Polly (Ruby Keeler) & Fay (Rogers) – hear about a new show Barney (Ned Sparks) is putting on, and to decide which of them gets to wear their remaining, pooled-together nice clothes (they haven’t worked in awhile, despite their best efforts) to go see him about being a part of it, they each choose a name of a taxi company & then rush to the window to see which is spotted first. It’s cute. I wish more taxis drove by my window so I could play this game.
  • Gasp. It’s…BINGO NELSON!

“Loop me, Bingo! Loop me!”


  • Okay, but – he (Dick Powell…here he’s called Brad, not Bingo) has the hots for Polly, apparently.
  • Brad lives across the street from The Four (The Three? I don’t think Ginger actually lives with them), and when he comes across to their apartment (an A+ level exchange between him & Polly occurred to make that happen, by the way) & starts playing their piano, Ned Sparks is like ‘Hell, yeah! I had these two other guys I was using for the music for this show, but fuck them! I like you better – you have class & you wrote a song about a bread line!’
  • One of the main numbers in this show is called “Pettin’ in the Park.” The repeated lyrics go:

Pettin’ in the park

Bad boy!

Pettin’ in the park

Bad girl!

First you pet a little

Then up a little

Then you get a little kiss.



It means exactly what it sounds like it means.

Thanks, 1933!

  • Warren William is great as Brad’s stern older brother J. Lawrence Bradford, who’s worried about their rich family’s name being disgraced by this Godawful Show Business Brad’s got himself mixed up in.
  • I love Warren William.
  • Guy Kibbee as Dubs’ righthand man Faneul H. Peabody (“Fanny,” if you’re Trixie) is very predictably Guy Kibbee-ish, but it works excellently here.
  • Trixie makes Fanny buy her a dog, then names the dog Fanny. The scene where Guy Kibbee holds the dog up to a mirror next to him, & sticks his tongue out for comparison’s sake is hilarious & perfect.
  • WW + Blondell = Magic. Like usual.

(Like in that one movie. You know…that one. With the writer & the window & all those people.)

(Edit: GOODBYE AGAIN (1933) is the one I mean. Thank God for my ‘About’ page. Feel free to make fun of me now.)

  • The neon violin sequence is mesmerizing.
  • It’s weird how Ginger’s character is kind of the extra one out the whole time. Like…she runs into their apartment at the beginning & isn’t involved in any of the very deliberately paired romances – so…is it possible her role was added after the story’d already been written? Like…’Oh! Ginger Rogers agreed to do this movie – we weren’t expecting that…but – better add a part for her!’?

(I know she wasn’t already a huge star at this point – but that’s just the way it feels.)

  • People raving about LA LA LAND (2016) should watch the closing “Forgotten Man” number from this movie. Perfect example of an impactful & impressive musical sequence.
  • I loved this one, you guys! I’d watch this again in a heartbeat!

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