You’ll Never Get Rich (1941)

You’ll Never Get Richyou'll never get rich poster
Directed by Sidney Lanfield
Written by Michael Fessier and Ernest Pagano
Columbia Pictures Corporation

First viewing/Netflix rental


Martin Cortland: Do anything so long as you make my wife believe I was telling the truth when I was lying to her!

A predictable musical gives viewers the opportunity to see Rita Hayworth dance.

This could be the plot of almost any movie starring Fred Astaire.  Robert Custis (Astaire) is the choreographer and star of a Broadway musical.  Sheila Winthrop (Hayworth) is a dancer in the chorus.  Martin Cortland (Robert Benchley), the show’s wealthy producer, is a philanderer and currently has his eye on Sheila.  He buys her an engraved diamond bracelet, which she, being a good girl, refuses.  The bracelet is discovered by his wife who threatens to divorce him so he makes Robert pretend that it was a gift from Robert to Sheila. In the course of this drama, Robert discovers he is in love with her himself.

The Peacetime Draft catches up with Robert.  Sheila shows up at base to visit her sometime boyfriend who is an Army Captain.  Robert does various things to capture Sheila’s heart, all of which lead to misunderstandings and land Robert in the guard house — that is until Cortland decides to put on a show on base.

you'll never get rich 1

This is OK but the script lacks the sparkle that animates Astaire’s best work.  Hayworth started out as a dancer in vaudeville and does a fair job in keeping up with Astaire in their numbers together.

Cole Porter was nominated for an Academy Award for his original song “Since I Kissed My Baby Goodbye” and Morris Stoloff was nominated for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture.

The Four Tones sing “Since I Kissed My Baby Goodbye” while Astaire taps

Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth tap dance at a rehearsal

2 thoughts on “You’ll Never Get Rich (1941)

  1. Yes, the story is quite forgettable. In fact I had quite forgotten it, until you gave me the line-up. What I do remember is Fred and Rita dancing. Hayworth was not really a good actress. I got a boxset of her “hits” and only a few of the movies are really good. I would say her greatest skill was her dancing and yes, she did a good job keeping up with Fred Astaire. That and a pretty face and that is basically what I remember from this movie.

    • I totally agree with you on Hayworth as an actress. She is always pretty weak, but her beauty carried her some of her more iconic roles like Gilda. I’m having a hard time recalling what I thought of her in Lady from Shanghai, but I’m going to revisit it next month.

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