Dateline: Hollywood, USA! The trailer for Gold Diggers of 1937 has silver screen fanatics in a positive frenzy as they flock to theaters to get their first glimpse of the next installment in Warner Bros.’ beloved franchise. And bad luck for MGM snobs: It looks the music, mischief, and merriment in this Warner Bros. holiday spectacular will finally put Gold Diggers on the same playing field as the Broadway Melody Cinematic Universe. Here’s everything we learned about the upcoming film from its trailer.
Director Lloyd Bacon is returning the franchise to its roots.
Warner Bros. seems to have crafted this trailer to send a single message: Gold Diggers fans, we hear you. The nostalgic tour of past Gold Diggers films—Gold Diggers of Broadway, Gold Diggers of 1933, and even Busby Berkeley’s Gold Diggers of 1935—will send a shiver up the spine of any would-be Digger, and it seems likely that Gold Diggers of 1937 will be jam-packed with Easter eggs and clues about where the series might go next. (Maybe Gay Paree?) But would it be too much to ask for a true fans–only nod to 1923’s The Gold Diggers?
Joan Blondell is back!
There were audible gasps throughout the glamorous Chinese Theatre in Hollywood when the announcer said, “with your old friends Dick Powell and Joan Blondell!” Not only was Blondell sorely missed in the Gold Diggers of 1935, she and co-star Powell have gotten married since they shared the screen in Gold Diggers of 1933. Did the real-life sweethearts bring a new realism to their love scenes in this, the most adult Gold Diggers film yet? Warner Bros. execs assure me they did!
The song list has been revealed!
The titles for the film’s four new songs have been revealed, and they sound incredible: “Speaking of the Weather,” “All’s Fair in Love and War,” “Let’s Put Our Heads Together,” and “With Plenty of Money and You.” Though we get to hear Powell sing a snippet of “With Plenty of Money and You,” we’ll have to wait until the sheet music is released to get a sense of exactly what direction the Gold Diggers Universe music is going next. Judging from what we can hear in the trailer, though, this is going to be the toe-tappingest Gold Diggers yet.
Victor Moore is funnier than ever!
Gothamites have been able to see Victor Moore in Cole Porter’s stage sensation Anything Goes for the last two years, but the rest of the U. S. of A. has been out of luck. It took Swing Time—Moore’s first return to the screen since 1934’s The Gift of Gab—to remind us all what we’d been missing. Judging from the trailer, Warner Bros. is cashing in on the Victor-Moronaissance, lingering over shots of the Nutty Knitters star making out, in his own inimitable way, with I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang star Glenda Farrell. Welcome back, Victor. By the by, Warner Bros., it’s 1936. Isn’t it time you give Farrell a female-led series of her own?
Tying your identity to a film franchise serves only capital!
If there’s one thing the trailer for Gold Diggers of 1937 makes clear, it’s that the differences between this and MGM’s Broadway Melody franchise are vanishingly small. Though studio bigwigs are thrilled that the narcissism of small differences is producing brand loyalists who’ll eagerly buy tickets to any old thing they slap the Gold Diggers or Broadway Melody label on, it’s more of a happy accident than a design—and they’re certainly not paying critics to write bad reviews of other studios’ movies. In fact, if pressed, studio chiefs find the fan rivalry between Diggers and Melodyheads kind of embarrassing for everyone involved—but if there’s money in it, they’ll still be stoking its flames 80 years from now. Besides, as one producer told me, things could always get worse. “At least I’m not at Universal,” he said. “Those poor saps have to pretend to care about Flash Gordon serials!”