Following the stock market crash of 1929 and the onset of depression, the American people and American capitalism underwent a crisis in confidence. With 25 percent unemployment rates, the loss of personal savings, and a massive withdrawal of investment capital, there was much to be feared. While movie producers worried, the introduction of sound pictures provided a short-term windfall that at least partly shielded them from the worst ravages of a failed economy. Nonetheless, as many individuals and families sank into the depths of despair, industry leaders wondered if the resultant reduction in disposable income meant an end to the prosperity that had sustained Hollywood’s rapid rise as the center of a legitimate business enterprise. From almost the beginning of the economic crisis, movie executives expressed concern over stagnant revenues and then, ultimately, over the sea of red ink that engulfed them in 1931 and 1932. While the movies recovered much faster than most industries, most of the “big eight” moved aggressively to adopt preventive measures that would lure audiences back to the theaters in which their product was exhibited. Theater parties, dish nights, bingo nights, and other promotions lured moviegoers to motion picture palaces that allowed them to enjoy at least an evening’s respite from the harsh realities of a depression economy.1 While a variety of film genres met with audience approval, musical films, such as Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), were among the most popular of Hollywood’s efforts to fill the social vacuum.