Golden Girl (1951 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lloyd Bacon|
|Produced by||George Jessel|
|Written by||Walter Bullock|
|Narrated by||George Jessel|
|Music by||Lionel Newman|
|Cinematography||Charles G. Clarke|
|Edited by||Louis R. Loeffler|
|Box office||$1.5 million (US rentals)|
The picture is loosely based on the life of famed entertainer Lotta Crabtree, who was known as "The Golden Girl" (1847–1924).
In her hometown of Grass Valley, vivacious teenager Lotta Crabtree (Mitzi Gaynor) is thrilled when the famed performer Lola Montez comes to town in 1863. She wants to become a singer like Lola herself someday, although parents Mary Ann (Una Merkel) and John Crabtree (James Barton), who run a boarding house, don't necessarily approve.
Lotta has a couple of admirers, the local boy Mart Taylor (Dennis Day) and a mature newcomer to town, Tom Richmond (Dale Robertson), who is informed that Lotta is only 16. A boarder named Cornelius (Raymond Walburn) with a surefire way to win at roulette lures Lotta's dad into a game, where he loses all of his money plus the boarding house.
Aware of the way Lola Montez made a fortune singing in mining camps for men who can't get to a theater, Lotta sets out on the road to do likewise. The miners like her, but don't throw gold pieces her way until she strips off part of her costume and gives them quite a show.
Lotta's father wins a San Francisco theater in a card game. Lotta becomes a star there, then travels East to perform in New York City. Older and wiser in two years, she learns that Tom has been committing robberies to raise money for the Confederate army in the Civil War.
The war ends but she sings "Dixie" on stage in New York, to catcalls from the audience. Dennis Day appeases them by saying the victors should be generous to those who have lost. When Lotta became too emotional to sing, Dennis took over. The audience starts to join in until everyone is singing. Tom has been reported near death from an injury, but at that very minute, he enters the theater to Lotta's delight.
- "The Top Box Office Hits of 1951", Variety, January 2, 1952.
- Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century-Fox: A Corporate and Financial History Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 p 224
- "Golden Girl". filmaffinity.com. Retrieved 16 December 2015.