cover of book

Gold Diggers of 1933
edited by Arthur Hove and Tino Balio
University of Wisconsin Press, 1980
Paper: 978-0-299-08084-6
Library of Congress Classification PN1997.G56843S4
Dewey Decimal Classification 791.437


    Gold Diggers of 1933, a lavish and glittering showcase for Busby Berkeley's musical production talent, was designed and produced as a Depression tonic. As Berkeley said, "In an era of breadlines, Depression, and wars, I tried to help people get away from all the misery . . . to turn their minds away to something else. I wanted to make people happy, if only for an hour.
    This book contains the full shooting script of Erwin Gelsey and James Seymour, based on the Avery Hopwood play of 1919, as well as the lyrics to the five songs of the film. Arthur Hove's introduction outlines the story concept from its initial Broadway form, through the 1923 silent movie, the 1929 talkie, and including several post-1933 versions. The concept of the good-hearted chorus girl with a penchant for separating wealthy men from some of their money has long been popular with both theatre and movie audiences.
    Hove tells much about the relationship between the story line and musical segments of the movie, about how far a writer can go before passing the baton to the director, and about how a film is actually put together.
    The film is remembered for Berkeley's musical and visual extravaganza. In the opening number, "We're in the Money," his sumptuous corps de ballet, numbering fifty-four, appeared in costumes made of fifty-four thousand "silver" coins. Five silver dollars, twenty-eight feet in diameter formed the background for the chorus.

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