AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Gold Dust Gertie
Director: Lloyd Bacon (Dir)
Release Date:   27 Jun 1931
Duration (in mins):  66 or 68
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Cast: Winnie Lightner  (Gertie Dale)
  Ole Olsen  (Elmer Guthrie)
  Chic Johnson  (George Harlan)
 

Summary: Elmer Guthrie and George Harlan, employees of the Arnold Knitting Mills, are married to twins. Before their current marriages, both men were married to Gertie Dale, a fact they have kept from Mr. Arnold, their boss, because old-fashioned Arnold strongly disapproves of divorce. He also refuses to let his company manufacture any bathing suits he believes are not modest, dismissing the modern designs that Elmer and George show him, in hopes of forestalling the financial ruin of the company. To the consternation of Elmer and George, Gertie shows up at the office demanding her back alimony. When she learns that Arnold has never been married, she vows to reform him. After faking a faint in Arnold's office, she claims to have designed a modest bathing suit and begs him to travel to a convention in Florida so she can demonstrate it. Within minutes, Arnold is devoted to Gertie and is willing to do whatever she wants. Arnold invites George and Elmer and their wives to sail to Florida with him and Gertie on his yacht. Leaving their wives behind, Elmer and George board the yacht to keep an eye on Gertie. When they learn through a note that she was also once married to the captain of the boat, they believe they have found a means to keep Gertie quiet about her relationship to them. She manages to retrieve the incriminating note from them just before Arnold professes his love and proposes. When they arrive in Florida, Arnold insists on seeing the bathing suit. At first he is horrified because Gertie's suit is very revealing, but when she puts it on, he thinks she is so adorable that he changes his mind and allows her to wear it in the parade. The suit wins first prize, and Gertie talks Arnold into raising Elmer and George's salaries. Her wedding to Arnold is interrupted by the minister, an old friend of Arnold, who recognizes Gertie, Elmer and George and tells Arnold about Gertie's previous marriages. Gertie runs away, but Arnold chases after her to forgive her. His love for her has changed his ideas about divorce. 

Distribution Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
The Vitaphone Corp.
Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Director: Lloyd Bacon (Dir)
Writer: William K. Wells (Scr)
  Ray Enright (Story)
  Arthur Caesar (Dial)

Subject Major: Deception
  Designers
  Divorce
  Prudes
  Transformation
 
Subject Minor: Alimony
  Bathing suits
  Clergy
  Clothing industry
  Florida
  Marriage
  Mills
  Recognition
  Sea captains
  Twins
  Weddings
  Yachts and yachting

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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