Beginning: just Wini's distant face in the blackness, singing; gradually the face comes closer.
Then we see a city, with Wini coming home at dawn (casting a quarter-mile shadow) and feeding her cat. She gets undressed, pulls down the blind (it's fully daylight outside), and goes to sleep. Then she gets up after dark, and goes out with her boyfriend. (Dick Powell??? Why isn't he with Gloria Stuart???) Then Dick and Wini watch a dance contest, and the dancers *insist* that she join them. Smiling, she retreats upstairs and hides behind a glass door, but the dancers and Dick push their way in. They push her back, until she falls off the balcony. Spinning as she falls, she watches the ground come closer. Dawn comes, and her cat waits by her door, unfed --
But then Wini wakes up, goes back to singing, and her face recedes in the darkness.
Would somebody please explain to me, what just happened? What is all this supposed to mean?
It's a brillant number but it has no basis in reality nor is it really supposed to, it's "movie magic" at it's best. The whole thing is supposed to be a production number at a night club but there's no stage on Broadway big enough to accomodate all those sets and people and of course we see much outside footage, sunlight, her head far away coming closer and closer in the intro, edited bits, and Wini's "fall" - things that couldn't have possibly been done on a stage.
The "number" is supposed to be of partygirl Wini, one of those girls just like the lyrics who stays out all night and doesn't come home to sleep until early in the morning. Then another cycle of partying begins out with beau Dick Powell (remember he's with her because it's a production number on stage
not part of the film's storyline) and she dancing with the crowd, then runs away, hides on the balcony and falls to her death as the crowd pushes in on the door... And then she wakes up. This last bit was only a dream.
And then Wini continues singing the song and then concludes and then - we see the nightclub audience applauding her!! Supposedly the whole darn thing had happened on a nightclub stage!! Crazy - but crazy in a brillant way.
One of the things I like about Lullaby of Broadway is that though this was filmed after the code became strictly enforced, there is still a decadent quality to the sequence. From the frivolous, party life that Shaw and Powell live, to the onslaught of tap dancers hoofing it up and inviting Shaw to join the crowd, to Shaw's tragic fall to even the shot of a woman strapping on her bra. The number more than redeems the silly comedy of much of the rest of Gold Diggers of 1935.