"All women of the theater were chiselers; parasites—as we called them, gold diggers."
Description: Guy Kibbee as Boston lawyer Faneuil H. Peabody reminisces about his early youth when he trod the primrose path on the Great White Way in the motion picture Gold Diggers 1933 (1933).
Peabody represents the Bradford family, millionaires who live in Boston, Masachusetts. While Robert Treat Bradford (Dick Powell) aspires to be a singer/songwriter in New York City, his blue-blood family despise theater folk and object to their son's dream.
Against their wishes Robert runs away, rents an apartment (as Brad Roberts), and begins to practice piano and compose songs. His fellow tenants include three aspring actresses (Polly, Carol, and Trixie). Polly Parker (Ruby Keeler), Brad's girlfriend encourages him to lend his talents to the new production by Barney Hopkins (Ned Sparks), whose stage theme is the Great Depression.
When comedienne Trixie Lorraine (Aline MacMahon) asks, "Isn't there going to be any comedy in the show?" Barney replies, "Oh, plenty! The gay side, the hard-boiled side, the cynical and funny side of the depression! I'll make 'em laugh at you starving to death, honey. It'll be the funniest thing you ever did."
Brad agrees to put up $15,000 to support the show, but he insists he will not appear in the show. His request seems strange, but Barney accepts his conditions, until opening night when their star (Clarence Nordstrom) comes down with lumbago and Brad is forced to play the lead role.
Happily, the show is a success, but news of the show reaches Boston where Brad's stuffy brother, J. Lawrence (Warren William) and Mr. Peabody, the family lawyer head to Broadway to save Brad from the gold-digging females, whom Peabody calls "chiselers and parasites."
When Lawrence arrives in the city, he mistakes singer Carol King (Joan Blondell) for Brad's girlfriend Polly. Lawrence wants to end her relationship with his brother and gives her a check for $10,000 to terminate the romance.
Carol, whom Lawrence believes is "cheap and vulgar" plays along because she finds Lawrence pretentious and wants to put him in his place. And so Lawrence sets out to stop the romance, by wooing Polly (Carol) away from Brad, but his plan backfires.
|Lawrence Bradford:||I'll ask you to return my check, please.|
|Carol King:||Your check, huh that's on exhibition over there on the wall. I figured you'd stop payment on it.|
|Lawrence Bradford:||I'll take the necessary steps...|
|Carol King:||You'll do what? Listen, you made a sap out of yourself and you tried your best to make a sap out of me. Now I never want to see you again, understand? And as for your check, well, you don't think I hold myself as cheaply as all that do you?|
|Lawrence Bradford:||Cheaply? Ten thousand dollars?|
|Carol King:||Well that's your estimate of me, not mine. That check is framed, not cashed! I put it there to remind me never to get mixed up with your kind again!|
Meanwhile, Trixie Lorraine sets her sights on Peabody the lawyer. When fellow actress Fay Fortune (Ginger Rogers) shows an interest in Peabody, Trixie warns, "You start walking and you keep walking, and if you ever come near him again I'll break BOTH your legs, now scram!" Then Trixie kicks Fay in the behind as she leaves.
In the end, Lawrence falls in love with Carol, Trixie lands Peabody and Polly and Brad live happily ever after. At least, as happy as one could be in the Depression of the 1930s.