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Addressing the Depression

by Kate Fortmueller

For a contemporary audience accustomed to Busby Berkeley's style of musical numbers, the opening number of The Gold Diggers of 1933, seems very familiar. Synchronized groups of women in skimpy (and in this case campy) costumes. The content of this number seems decidedly escapist as the girls happily sing "We're in the Money." All of this is brought to a halt when the sheriff comes in and shuts down the production for lack of money. While many films, musicals included, provided an escape for audiences this number addresses depression struggles head on.

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) - "We're in the Money"

The opening number of Gold Diggers of 1933 satirizes Depression era musicals and films that pretended like the troubles of the Depression were over.

from Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
Creator: Mervyn LeRoy
Posted by Kate Fortmueller