Wow, two Warren William movies on TCM within five days of each other! I almost missed the listing for Gold Diggers of ’33, but it does air tonight, July 29, as part of pre-code Musicals night on Turner Classic Movies (and I hope to go over tonight’s entire schedule over in my space on the Examiner later today).
This is one of the best of the bunch when it comes to pre-code Musicals, right up there with Footlight Parade (on right after at 11 pm) and 42nd Street (not airing tonight), and despite what my trusty Now Playing Guide says Warren William is actually top billed in this one.
For the uninitiated, will you see Warren William sing? … eh, no. We’ll definitely take a deeper look at Gold Diggers one of these days, but for now it’ll suffice to say that despite WW’s top billing, the story centers around the characters played by Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell. There are really two stories going on here, the musical portion largely featuring Ruby and Dick and a screwball comedy centered around Ruby and Dick’s romance–Warren William largely plays it straight as Dick Powell’s older brother, J. Lawrence Bradford, who guards, and doles out, the family fortune to Dick. When William catches word that his brother is messing around with a showgirl he grabs Guy Kibbee and heads down to put a stop to it. They’re intercepted by their own gold diggers, Aline McMahon for Kibbee and Joan Blondell for Warren William. Ginger Rogers is also on the scene looking to horn in wherever possible.
Great fun right from the start with Ginger singing “We’re in the Money,” complete with her little bit of pig latin thrown in, plus other Warren & Dubin songs such as “Shadow Waltz” and “Remember My Forgotten Man.” Busby Berkeley choreography that is really off the wall for “Pettin’ in the Park,” especially Billy Barty’s antics. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy.
While Warren William is only a part of something much bigger in Gold Diggers of 1933 I still can’t recommend it enough.
The collection of San Francisco Examiner publicity photos that I’ve been showing off lately didn’t have anything from Gold Diggers in it, but it did include this shot of Warren William with Gold Diggers love interest Joan Blondell from the same year, 1933, in Goodbye Again:
While you can see crop marks and corrections on the front of the photo (especially around Blondell’s hair), the back includes the originally published clip, stamped with date of publication, September 21, 1933. The caption on the clipping reads:
WARREN WILLIAM is here exhibited in one of his many adieu scenes with Joan Blondell in “Goodbye Again,” which comes to Warfield tomorrow–or is this scene one of the reconciliations?