As in the previous Diggers, it's the spec that counts, and the story deficiencies are a bit more acute. Basically, the story [by Robert Lord and Peter Milne] lags for an hour before the fashionable charity show, which is the excuse for the spec, commences.

As in the previous Diggers, it’s the spec that counts, and the story deficiencies are a bit more acute. Basically, the story [by Robert Lord and Peter Milne] lags for an hour before the fashionable charity show, which is the excuse for the spec, commences.

Dick Powell is the affable hotel clerk (no longer a songwriter) who falls for the stingy millionairess’ daughter (Gloria Stuart). Frank McHugh, the scapegrace son, who’s checked off three chorus-girl wives at the rate of $100,000 settlement to each, is the vis-a-vis of Dorothy Dare.

Adolphe Menjou does the best job as the irascible, chiseling entrepreneur, with Joe Cawthorn as comedy foil. Alice Brady is equally legit and effective in her skinflint assignment. Hugh Herbert’s role of an eccentric snuffbox addict is rather hazy.

The Al Dubin-Harry Warren songs this time miss a bit. ‘The Words Are In My Heart’ is the waltz theme, reprised for the choreography with the baby grands – a highly effective ballet of the Steinways. ‘Lullaby of Broadway’ is the final musical elaboration. Latter number, led by Winifred Shaw, runs overboard in footage.

1935: Best Song (‘Lullaby of Broadway’).

Nominations: Best Dance Direction (‘Lullaby of Broadway’, ‘The Words Are in My Heart’)

Gold Diggers of 1935

Production

Warner. Director Busby Berkeley; Producer [uncredited]; Screenplay Manuel Seff, Peter Milne; Camera George Barnes; Editor George Amy; Music Leo F. Forbstein (dir.), Ray Heindorf (arr.); Art Director Anton Grot

Crew

(B&W) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1935. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Dick Powell Gloria Stuart Adolphe Menjou Glenda Farrell Grant Mitchell Alice Brady
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