AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Gold Diggers of 1935
Director: Busby Berkeley (Dir)
Release Date:   16 Mar 1935
Production Date:   completed 14 Jan 1935
Duration (in mins):   95
Duration (in reels):   10
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Cast:   Dick Powell (Dick Curtis)  
    Adolphe Menjou (Nicoleff)  
    Gloria Stuart (Ann Prentiss)  
    Alice Brady (Mrs. [Mathilda] Prentiss)  
    Hugh Herbert (T. Mosley Thorpe)  
    Glenda Farrell (Betty Hawes)  
    Frank McHugh (Humbolt Prentiss)  
    Joseph Cawthorn (Schultz)  
    Grant Mitchell (Louis Lamson)  
    Dorothy Dare (Arlene Davis)  
    Winifred Shaw (Winny)  
    Thomas Jackson (Haggarty)  
    Ramon and Rosita (Dancers in "Lullaby of Broadway")  
    Phil Tead (Head bellhop)  
    Eddie Kane (Maitre d'hotel)  
    Nora Cecil (Housekeeper)  
    Arthur Aylesworth (Head barman)  
    Harry Holman (Mr. Higpy)  
    Jan Buckingham (First girl)  
    Olive Jones (Second girl)  
    Rosalie Roy (First lady)  
    Mary Russell (Second lady)  
    Gordon Elliott (Clerk)  
    Marjorie Nichols (Letitia Fry)  
    Grace Hayle (Mrs. Fry)  
    Amo Ingraham (Haughty woman)  
    Don Brodie (Photographer)  
    Eddie Fetherston (Reporter)  
    Billy Newell (Reporter)  
    George Riley (Reporter)  
    Harry Seymour (Reporter)  
    Ray Cooke (Bellhop)  
    John Quillan (Bellhop)  
    Florence Fair    

Summary: The wealthy Mrs. Mathilda Prentiss, her sullen daughter Ann, and playboy son Humbolt are vacationing at a luxurious summer resort, where they are joined by Ann's fiancĂ©, T. Mosley Thorpe, an eccentric, middle-aged millionaire who is writing a monograph on snuffboxes. Ann is getting no attention from Mosley and convinces her mother to hire Dick Curtis, the hotel's handsome and youthful desk clerk, to escort her for the summer. Dick hesitates, but his fiancĂ©e, Arlene Davis, encourages him to accept the job. With Dick's help, Ann buys a new wardrobe and jewels and gets a new coiffure, transforming herself into a lovely young woman. Meanwhile, Humbolt has discovered Arlene's charms, and Mrs. Prentiss has hired an impresario named Nicoleff to direct her annual charity show. The parsimonious Mrs. Prentiss wants to cut corners on the production, but Nicoleff, along with Schultz, his set decorator, Louis Lamson, the hotel manager, and Betty Hawes, the hotel stenographer, are plotting to make a big profit at the wealthy woman's expense. Betty, who has been taking dictation for Mosley, is also scheming to blackmail the befuddled writer, by suggesting he use her name in the lyrics for a love song. When she addresses a copy to herself, it reads like a proposal. By the time the show goes on, Ann and Dick are in love, Arlene has married Humbolt and Mrs. Prentiss discovers Mosley's entanglement with Betty, who is suing him for breach of promise. The lavish musical is a hit, but has cost Mrs. Prentiss a small fortune. Finally, Ann defies her mother and marries Dick. 

Production Company: First National Productions Corp. (Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.)
Distribution Company: First National Pictures, Inc.  
  The Vitaphone Corp.  
Director: Busby Berkeley (Dir)
Producer: Robert Lord (Supv)
Writer: Manuel Seff (Scr)
  Peter Milne (Scr)
  Robert Lord (Story)
  Peter Milne (Story)
Photography: George Barnes (Photog)
Art Direction: Anton Grot (Art dir)
Film Editor: George Amy (Film ed)
Costumes: Orry-Kelly (Gowns)
Music: Ray Heindorf (Orch)
  Leo F. Forbstein (Vitaphone Orch cond)
Dance: Busby Berkeley (Dances created and staged)
Country: United States

Songs: "Lullaby of Broadway," "The Words Are in My Heart" and "I'm Going Shopping with You," music and lyrics by Harry Warren and Al Dubin.
Composer: Al Dubin
  Harry Warren

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
First National Pictures, Inc. 25/2/1935 dd/mm/yyyy LP5348

PCA NO: 580
Physical Properties: Sd:

Genre: Musical comedy
Subjects (Major): Authors
  Family relationships
  Musical revues
  Upper classes
Subjects (Minor): Blackmail
  Breach of promise
  Hotel clerks
  Snuff boxes and bottles

Note: A news item in DV notes that Jack Grieves, a twenty-six year old dancer in the chorus, died on the set from acute indigestion. A news item in HR notes that Rosita, formerly of the dance team Ramon and Rosita, applied for an injunction against Warner Bros. because although she did not appear in the film, she was billed as dancing with Ramon. According to modern sources, fifty-six pianos were used in "The Words Are in My Heart" number. To create their movement, stagehands dressed in black were under each piano. "Lullaby of Broadway" won the Academy Award for Best Song of the year. For more information on Warner Bros.' "Gold Diggers" films see the entry below for Gold Diggers of 1933

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   5 Nov 34   p. 4.
Daily Variety   11 Jan 35   p. 5.
Daily Variety   12 Jan 35   p. 4.
Daily Variety   15 Jan 35   p. 1.
Daily Variety   18 Mar 35   p. 3.
Film Daily   15 Mar 35   p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter   22 Mar 35   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Apr 35   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Aug 35   p. 2.
Motion Picture Daily   4 Mar 35   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald   23 Mar 35   p. 39.
New York Times   15 Mar 35   p. 25.
Variety   20 Mar 35   p. 17.

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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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