“Do anything so long as you make my wife believe I was telling the truth when I was lying to her!”
You’ll Never Get Rich is one of those classic films that drive me crazy. There is a lot of lying, misunderstanding, and utter craziness. It started off decently and then just spiraled into a huge WTF and bombed big time.
Theater impresario Martin Cortland traveled into New York City to buy his wife a present for their anniversary. He bought his wife an unremarkable back cheap back scratcher while he bought his potential mistress a diamond bracelet. Martin has his eye on a chorus dancer named Shelia Winthrop (Rita Hayworth).
In dance practice Shelia purposefully messes up the routine a little bit so she can get to dance one on one with the choreographer Robert Curtis (Fred Astaire). After rehearsals Martin calls Shelia into his office to give her the bracelet. Unfortunately before he can give the present to her Shelia leaves and his wife walks in. She takes the bracelet from his pocket and looks at it. The bracelet has Shelia’s name on it so Martin tries very hard to cover for himself by saying he bought it for Robert since he is the one who likes Shelia. After the wife leaves Martin tells Robert he needs him and Shelia to pretend they are in love and to go to a club that night so his wife will hopefully be convinced.
At the club while they are dancing Robert confesses to Shelia he likes it when she messes up so he can dance with her. When Martin and his wife arrive the situation gets a little messy. Shelia does her best to be a little over the top in her affections for Robert to make him uncomfortable to get back at him for playing along with Martin. When they both leave the table a reporter comes by and asks the wife who Robert and Shelia were. The wife tells the reporter they are happily in love and engaged.
The following day Shelia is furious when she sees the announcement in the paper about her “engagement” to Robert. She thinks he is the one who told a reporter the story. Her brother Tom is in the army and has been placed at training camp close to their home. He comes down to the city to see Shelia and their aunt. Tom comes by just as Robert is driving up. Shelia, Tom, and their aunt play a game to get back Robert. Their game scares Robert right out of the apartment.
Robert has enough of Martin and is scared to death of Tom. He hears he has been drafted and has to report for duty immediately. Robert is thrilled because it means he will be away from all his problems. Unfortunately at camp bigger problems arise after he punches one of the commanding officers in the face while still in a nightmare one night and Tom comes to the base. He also digs himself into a deeper hole by impersonating an officer.
Other stuff happens that I cannot remember- well nix that “I cannot remember” bit it is more like I stopped paying attention.
You’ll Never Get Rich quickly got very boring and very messy. I did not like Fred Astaire’s character at all. Robert was a little silly and not very entertaining. Rita Hayworth was the only decent actor and character in the whole film. I will say that Astaire and Hayworth’s dancing scenes together were amazing. She kept right in sync with him. If you did not know Hayworth was a dancer before she became an actress. She made dancing look so effortless. Unless you are a fan of either Fred Astaire or Rita Hayworth You’ll Never Get Rich not a classic film that is a must see.