Still in the throes of the Great Depression when it was released in theatres in May 1933, Americans turned out in droves to be entertained by Gold Diggers’ songs, sets and social conscience. The musical’s familiar backstage plot was elevated by spectacular set pieces such as 'We’re in the Money’, the afore-mentioned ‘Waltz of the Shadows’ and ‘Pettin’ in the Park’. Ruby Keeler, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon and Ginger Rogers feature as the quartet of ‘gold digger’ chorus girls whose fortunes are variously made or otherwise in pursuit of their dreams on Broadway. Dick Powell co-stars as a gifted singer-songwriter with big plans of his own.
"This much fun is usually illegal... A tuneful, bubbling delight. It remains a startling moment in American movies.” - Bright Lights
Gold Diggers of 1933
5 Dec - 23 Jan
Featuring costumes by Orry-Kelly (the subject of Gillian Armstrong’s Women He’s Undressed) Gold Diggers of 1933 was directed by Mervyn LeRoy with songs by Harry Warren and Al Dubin. Famed for its iconic set pieces choreographed by the brilliant Busby Berkeley – yes, it’s the one with the neon-lit violins in ‘The Waltz of the Shadows’ number! – Warner Bros’ hit musical was billed as ‟the show of a thousand wonders”.