Gold Diggers of 1935: Busby Berkeley Oscar Nominated Musical Featuring “Lullaby of Broadway”

The second film of the 1933 “The Gold Diggers” is entertaining due to Busby Berkeley’s spectacular production numbers.

Once again, the story (such as it is) revolves around the problem of finding financial backing for a new Broadway show.

In this case, salvation comes from a meek hypochondriac named J.J. Hobart (Victor Moore), who would rather have the girls get his insurance money than his murderous business partners.

Dick Powell isn’t the male star of the show, playing a secondary part, that of a glib insurance agent.

The other usual suspects, such as Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell, are reliable.

You can also see Osgood Perkins (real-life father of Anthony Perkins).

An enjoyable entry in Warners’ Gold Diggers musical series, Gold Diggers of 1935 excels in the outlandish number and slows down considerably when the all too familiar chat begins.

The popular hit, “Lullaby of Broadway,” music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin, won the Best Score Oscar, and Berkeley was nominated for the Best Dance Direction Oscar.

Busby Berkeley choreographed the dance numbers, the highlights of which are “With Plenty of Money and Yoü” and “Love and War,” for which he was Oscar-nominated but did not win.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Dance Direction: Busby Berkeley

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The winner was Seymour Felix for the number “A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody” from  the musical “The Great Ziegfeld.”

Running time: 100 min.

Directed by Busby Berkeley

Released: March 15, 1935

DVD: March 21, 2006

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