Gold Diggers of 1935 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gold Diggers of 1935 Reviews

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½ May 13, 2016
Not as strong, original or inventive as the original 1933 version. The plot is rather pedestrian & uneventful.

The story of a flash hotel and their struggle for tips in hard times & the build up to musical performance in the final quarter.

Wonderful dance sequences & terrific music but as an individual film it's rather flat.
January 25, 2015
I actually wanted more musical numbers considering Busby Berkeley directed this. The movie is more of a romantic comedy than a full-pledge musical. It is still fun to watch.

Grade: B
½ November 14, 2014
The plot is stale, but the film contains two Busby Berkeley production numbers: "The Words Are In My Heart," and Berkeley's masterpiece, "Lullaby of Broadway."
½ August 26, 2014
Has a few slightly amusing bits, but overall it never raises above a certain (low) level of entertainment. Nowhere near the classic Gold Diggers of 1933.
½ May 10, 2014
Only saw the second half of the film, but was impressed of the volume of the dancers and piano players on stage. Found it ridiculous though that the mother in the film seems a lot younger than the man supposedly marrying his daughter..... And the finale, the never ending song piece could have been, well, shorter.
June 15, 2013
This second musical in the Gold Diggers series is vastly entertaining due to Busby Berkeley's production numbers, including the Oscar-winning song Lullaby of Broadway.
½ December 16, 2011
This second installment in the series is a gem, Classic 30's raconteur-style comedy and a GREAT production by Busby Berkeley. Also Gloria Stuart (Rose Dawson in "Titanic") is adorable as the principal ingenué.
Super Reviewer
½ April 28, 2011
Not as good as the trifecta of Busby Berkeley (that would be Gold Diggers, Footlight Parade, and 42nd Street), but it's worth watching for the obligatory big musical number at the end. Victor Moore can be quite charming when he wants to be.
Super Reviewer
October 5, 2010
Like most of these films it's pinned to a silly plot about a skinflint millionairess, a scene stealing Alice Brady, and various people who surround and try to make a couple of bucks off her. The real star here is the musical numbers brilliantly staged by Busby Berkeley, the justly famous Lullaby of Broadway is both fantastic and chilling.
Super Reviewer
½ September 30, 2010
Somewhat better than I expected. This isn't just a song and elaborate dance musical, which was what I expected, but it's got a funny story about a mother who is trying to marry off her daughter to this rich guy, who's a bit crazy actually, but she falls in love with another guy while they're on vacation or something. Oh, and the cast they list on here isn't right, this movie does star Dick Powell, but also it stars: Adolphe Menjou, Gloria Stuart, Alice Brady, Hugh Herbert, and Glenda Farrell.
½ August 29, 2010
Generally what you'd expect from Berkeley -- boy-meets-girl backstage plot meets amazing technical proficiency and psychedelic dance numbers. The movie benefits a lot from its supporting cast however (especially Hugh Herbert as a snuff-addled eccentric), who move the first hour leading up to the dance spectacles at a slightly snippier pace than Berkeley's other outings. The glee with which each character indulges in bribery, extortion, and blackmail is also pretty fun to watch.
½ August 13, 2010
The first film where Busby Berkeley had full directorial control, not just the musical numbers but also the narrative. And well, he should have left the narrative elements to someone else. The story isn't terrible or anything, but it's pretty hackneyed and uninteresting. Alice Brady makes a very obnoxious antagonist as the miserly mother of the heroine (no longer Ruby Keeler or Joan Blondell, but non-singer Gloria Stuart). Dick Powell doesn't really get a chance to show off his charm, except in a couple of very nice songs. Hugh Herbert's eccentric performance (oh, those hand gestures!) is mildly entertaining, but except for a few stand-out moments you're basically just waiting for the big show at the end. But what a payoff. "The Words Are In My Heart" features dancing grand pianos in gorgeous precision. Then there's "Lullaby of Broadway", a beautiful and haunting epic piece, culminating in a tap dance of roughly 100 people in perfect syncopated unison. They're both amazing numbers, and they make it a lot easier to forgive the first hour of mostly lame comedy.
May 28, 2010
Not really my cup of tea, but the choreographed, dancing pianos have to be seen to be believed. The final dance number is what I imagine Riverdance would look like if it was performed inside Charles Foster Kane's Xanadu and directed by Leni Riefenstahl. But there's just too much padding in the first hour of the film.
½ May 12, 2010
The production numbers bump this up an extra star. Amusing overall.
½ April 18, 2010
Containing some of the most astonishing work of Busby Berkeley, this is not my favorite movie with "Gold Diggers" in the title or about "Gold Diggers" in general. The plot is miniscule at best and some of the acting more than a bit wooden. If you're a lover of all-things-Berkeley, this remains a "must-see" despite those faults.
April 14, 2010
A shopping we will go, a shopping we will go, hi-ho the derry-o, to spend your mother's doe! Would you look at that? A change to the regular female lineup. Highlights include the competition over honorariums, the erotic manner in which Arline eats her apple, Humbolt's inability to do fractions, trying to check into the hotel at the cigar counter, snuff box germicide, blackmail over a haughty stenographer who blackmails everybody back, valuable social contacts, Ann's $12,000+ outfit that takes up a whole bed, indignant Russian dine-and-dasher Nicoleff, a spin on the classic romantic evening in a car by placing the couple in a speedboat, pirouetting pianos that undulate against one another like a zipper before interlocking to form a stage platform, tap-skidding, and a priceless solid silver fruit dish. 'I got to hand it to you mother, it takes a lot of nerve to give four boys a quarter for carrying up sixteen pieces of baggage.'
½ October 9, 2009
This Gold Diggers musical is watchable. But there's not much here to get the pulse going until the end when Busby Berkley holds back nothing and gives us some really spectacular and breathtaking musical numbers. Even by today's standards, it's mind blowing how he created some of those great cinematic shots around a full stage of dancers. So the last twenty minutes are worthwhile for that, but the rest of the film is just blah. The conflict resolves quickly so that all we're left with is this big talent show that everybody seems to be able to participate in. Dick Powell and Gloria Stuart are likable enough as the romantic couple who are brought together a little too easily. Hugh Herbert is funny as the snuff addicted fool (a little reminiscent of the 3 Stooges). But the film is not terribly funny or romantic or interesting. There are hints of all that, but nothing begins to match that final dance excitement.
½ May 25, 2009
Not as good as previous Berkeley outings but still outrageous and fun.
½ March 20, 2009
Not nearly as awesome as Gold Diggers of 1933.
½ October 3, 2008
"Gold Diggers of 1935" isn't as good or as fresh as "Gold Diggers of 1933", which is THE CLASSIC Warner Brothers musical of the early 30s, but it's still awfully good. It had music by Warren and Dubin, a great cast, and Busby Berkley's wonderfully eccentric direction.

Yes, the plot is silly but it struck a chord with depression-era audiences and, besides, the plots in these movies serve to just move the film along between musical numbers.

What makes this movie special is the "Lullaby of Broadway" number. This is a "dream sequence" number and is arguably Busby Berkley's greatest. Considering his track record that is saying a lot. It's the most memorable number in the movie and is widely considered one of the greatest production numbers in cinema history. I agree. I don't see how it could have been better. It's brilliant and makes an otherwise ordinary depression musical into something special.

I don't rate this as high as "42nd Street" or "Gold Diggers of 1933" or "Dames." Those films are more consistent and their plots, while silly, are less so than this one. That said, the "Lullaby of Broadway" number is better than the already outstanding numbers in the other films except, imho, the "Remember the Forgotten Man" number from "Gold Diggers of 1933."

In summary; part of this movie is as good as it gets and the rest is fine entertainment. Hey! It's Busby Berkley!
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