BrianRxm Coins in Movies 30/110
Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
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The 1933 Warner Brothers film "Gold Diggers of 1933" begins with Broadway show girls
performing a dance routine to the song "We're in the Money" while wearing costumes made of
prop and large cardboard coins.
 
The film stars Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, and Ginger Rogers and was released in May 1933.
It has many references to the 1930's Depression and the efforts to end it.
At one point, a girl who is broke announces that she is "off the gold standard".
Gold Diggers of 1933
1. Title
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
2. Title coin
 
The title coin is apparently based on the Charles Barber "Barber" design used for
United States silver coins from 1892 to 1916.
Some of these coins would have still been in circulation in 1933.
 
A "Barber" half dollar:
 
United States half dollar 1906-S
3. United States silver Barber half dollar 1906-S
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
4. Coin credit for Ginger Rogers as Fay
 
The credits for the primary film stars appear at the beginning of the film.
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
5. Ginger Rogers sings "We're in the Money"
 
She is covered with imitation coins, all with the "Barber" design.
 
The song "We're in the Money" is also known as the "The Gold Diggers' Song".
 
Gone are my blues and gone are my tears
I've got good news to shout in your ears
The long lost dollar has come back to the fold
With silver you can turn your dreams to gold
We're in the money, we're in the money
We've got a lot of what it takes to get along!
We're in the money, the sky is sunny
Old Man Depression, you are through, you done us wrong!
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
6. Ginger Rogers sings "We're in the Money"
 
Ginger (and the girls behind her) hold up the cardboard coins, resembling a
many-armed Indian goddess.
 
Then the first Busby Berkeley production begins with many girls holding cardboard coins.
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
7. The girls do their number
 
The giant background coin has "In God (We Trust)".
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
8. A dancer emerges from a large dollar sign ($)
 
She is really "in the money".
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
9. Ginger and the girls end the production
 
When the song production ends, the sheriff shows up with an order to
close the show and take the props and costumes.
 
One of the sheriff's men asks for a girl's costume.
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
10. "I'll have to take that top"
 
The Motion Picture Production Code came in to effect in 1934,
banning risque lines like this one.
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
11. Dick Powell plays and sings
 
Brad lives across from Polly and her friends, and they are going together.
 
The girls hear about Barney's new show.
 
Gosh, to think that we're going to have real jobs again, earn money.
Yeah, and I've been off the gold standard so long.
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
12. Trixie, Barney, Polly, Carol
 
Barney comes over to hire the girls for his new show.
As soon as he gets $15,000.
 
Brad puts up the $15,000, and the girls wonder where he got the money.
Just before the show opens on Broadway, Brad replaces the lead singer.
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
13. Dick Powell sings "Petting in the Park" to Polly
 
Another song with a risque title becomes another Busby Berkeley dance production.
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
14. "Petting in the Park" production
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
15. "Petting in the Park" production
 
Brad is spotted by people who know him as a rich Boston heir.
 
Brad's brother Lawrence arrives with Peabody, the family lawyer and orders him to leave
show business and rejoin the family business.
 
Lawrence also tries to break up Brad's romance with Polly as he thinks that chorus girls
are "gold diggers" and not suitable wives.
 
Lawrence and Peabody meet Polly's roommates and begin seeing them.
The girls trick Lawrence into believing that Carol is Polly; Brad also is involved in the deception.
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
16. The two brothers and the three girls
 
Lawrence, Brad, Trixie, Carol, and Polly.
Lawyer Peabody is seeing Trixie and Lawrence is seeing Carol but believes she is Polly.
 
Trixie and Carol get Lawrence drunk, then place him in Carol's bed.
The next morning he wakes up and Trixie demands money for the false Polly's "services" and
Lawrence writes a check for $10,000.
 
The girls frame the check and place it on their wall.
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
17. The check mounted on wall
 
The date on the check is August 6, 1933, giving a rough idea of when the story is set.
 
Back at the theatre, another Busby Berkeley dance number, "Shadow Waltz".
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
18. Busby Berkeley "Shadow Waltz" dance number
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
19. Busby Berkeley "Shadow Waltz" dance number
 
Things work out happily, all three girls find love with rich boyfriends, and the show becomes a hit.
 
In the show, a homeless man has just bummed a cigarette from Joan, leading to the famous song
"Remember my Forgotten Man" about the effects of the Depression on World War I veterans.
The title was based on a speech by the newly-inaugurated President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
 
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
20. Joan Blondell sings "Remember my Forgotten Man"
 
Remember my forgotten man?
You put a rifle in his hand
You sent him far away
You shouted 'Hip hooray!'
But look at him today.
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
21. A policeman picks up a "forgotten man"
 
The policeman sees a medal indicating that the man is a World War I veteran and lets him go.
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
22. Forgotten man's medal
 
The medal is a French Croix De Guerre with Bronze Palm.
The French Government awarded these to some American servicemen also.
 
Joan Blondell is then backed by a large production number.
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
23. "Forgotten Man" production
 
Images of soldiers marching back veterans marching.
 
Gold Diggers of 1933
24. "Forgotten Man" finale
 
The film was a huge hit and moneymaker for Warner Brothers.
It was followed by several sequels.
Notes:
 
Cast:
Dick Powell as Brad
Ruby Keeler as Polly
Joan Blondell as Carol
Aline MacMahon as Trixie
Ned Sparks as Barney
Ginger Rogers as Fay
Warren William as Lawrence
Guy Kibbee as Peabody
 
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Musical numbers directed by Busby Berkeley
Writers: Erwin Gelsey, James Seymour, David Boehm, Ben Markson, Avery Hopwood
Songs written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin.
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