You'll Never Get Rich (1941) (NTSC)

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Released 6-May-2020

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Musical Comedy None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1941
Running Time 88:29
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Sidney Lanfield

Starring Fred Astaire
Rita Hayworth
John Hubbard
Robert Benchley
Frieda Inescort
Osa Massen
Case ?
RPI ? Music Morris Stoloff
Cole Porter

Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     On his 15th wedding anniversary philandering theatre owner Martin Cortland (Robert Benchley) stops on 5th Ave to buy an engraved diamond bracelet, not for his long suffering wife Julia (Frieda Inescort), but for a sexy new girl in the chorus line at the theatre who has caught his fancy, Sheila Winthrop (Rita Hayworth), who herself is keen to catch the eye of the show’s choreographer Robert Curtis (Fred Astaire). When Mrs Cortland finds the engraved bracelet in her husband’s pocket, Martin tells Julia that it had been purchased by Robert, who was in love with Sheila, but she does not believe him. Martin persuades Robert to ask Sheila out that night and contrives to take his wife to the same restaurant to show her the pair in love. Sheila quickly catches on that Robert is not interested in her, but was using her to please Martin and leaves, but not before a press photographer takes their picture together which appears in the paper the next day with “a new romance for Robert Curtis” headline.

     Next day both Robert and Sheila think the other was responsible for the picture and headline and are equally furious. Robert goes to Sheila’s apartment. She is being visited by a potential suiter, army Captain Tom Barton (John Hubbard), who has dropped in to see Sheila on his way to his new posting at Camp Weston. When Robert arrives they pretend that Tom is her brother who is angry at the slur to his sister’s reputation; he banishes an (unloaded) revolver and Robert frees the room in panic. Believing that his life is in danger Robert decides the safest place to be is in the army (as you do) so he enlists and, of course, is posted to Camp Weston for recruit training where he runs into Tom and learns that he is not, in fact, Sheila’s brother. By now Robert has realised that he is in love with Sheila so when she comes to visit Tom he tries to get her back, with mixed results, ending up in the guardhouse more often than not. If things are not complicated enough, Martin arrives with his singers and dancers and his new “squeeze” Sonya (Osa Massen), but without his wife, to put a show on for the soldiers and he wants Robert to choreograph it. Robert agrees, but only if Sheila dances the lead. But, as usual, things don’t go to plan. Will true love ever find a way?

     You’ll Never Get Rich was the first of two musicals Rita Hayworth made with dancing superstar Fred Astaire (the other was You Were Never Lovelier the next year). In the years between 1933 and 1939 Astaire had made nine films with the partner he is most remembered for, Ginger Rogers, commencing with Flying Down to Rio in 1933 and finishing with The Barkleys of Broadway in 1939, although they did team up once more ten years later in The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle in 1949. The paring of Astaire with Columbia’s rising star Hayworth was perhaps inevitable, although You’ll Never Get Rich is still very much a Fred Astaire picture: he gets top billing, most of the gags and sings and dances most of the musical numbers with Hayworth only accompanying him I think three times. Rita, born Margarita Carmen Cansino into a family of dancers, holds her own very well; she moves beautifully and looks gorgeous, and glamorous, on screen, although she really does not have much acting to do. But really Astaire doesn’t either! It is a musical after all.

     You’ll Never Get Rich was directed by Sidney Lanfield. He had a number of musicals on his resume including one with Ginger Rogers before she teamed up with Astaire, The Hat Check Girl in 1932. Also on his resume was the classic The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) which introduced Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and he also directed a number of Bob Hope comedies including My Favorite Blonde in 1942. In You’ll Never Get Rich his direction of the musical numbers is energetic, thanks primarily to the energy of Astaire, some impressive camera angles and set ups and the music of Cole Porter; the film received two Oscar nominations, one for the Cole Porter song Since I Kissed My Baby Goodbye and one for the score of (the uncredited) Morris Stoloff, winning neither.

     Outside of the musical numbers, You’ll Never Get Rich is rather pedestrian with a predictable plot, broad slapstick, juvenile comedy and the deliberate unintelligible dialogue of a character called, appropriately, Swivel Tongue (Cliff Nazarro), that is annoying and not a bit funny. But this is not high art, but a musical comedy, and the production numbers, Fred and Rita just about carry the day.

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Transfer Quality


     You’ll Never Get Rich is presented in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, in NTSC and not 16x9 enhanced.

     I recently reviewed Music in My Heart from this same Rita Hayworth collection and it looked fabulous. You’ll Never Get Rich is a year younger and while it looks fine it is not as good as the earlier film. There are frequent small marks, a couple of vertical scratches, including one at 1:15 over the director’s credit, a couple of contrast variations and some blur with motion (which does not, however, effect the production numbers). On the other hand, grain is light, blacks solid, shadow detail good while grey scales and detail are excellent; Rita’s dark gown in one dance scene glistens with highlights. So for an almost 80 year old film it is still pretty good.

     No subtitles are provided.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono at 192 Kbps.

     The dialogue is easy to hear. Effects are minimal except for the sound of the tap dancing, which is loud. The music of Morris Stoloff and especially the production numbers and Cole Porter songs come over loud and clear. Which is really what you want in a film of this genre.

     There was no hiss or crackle.

    Lip synchronisation is fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     Nothing. The silent menu offers only “Play”.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     You’ll Never Get Rich is available in other regions in both stand-alone versions and as part of various collections of the films of both Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth. This release of the film is as part of The Films of Rita Hayworth Collection Two which collection itself forms part of The Films of Rita Hayworth Platinum Collection. See the summary section below.


     You’ll Never Get Rich is another of the earlier Rita Hayworth film at Columbia in which Fred Astaire, the established star, gets first billing and most of the musical numbers. The humour in You’ll Never Get Rich is forced and juvenile, the plotting predictable and merely incidental to the production and dance numbers. But with the energy of Fred Astaire and the glamour, beauty and grace of Rita Hayworth fans of either star, or of 40s musicals, should be happy.

     The video is good for an almost 80 year old film, the audio is the original mono. No extras of any kind.

     You’ll Never Get Rich is included in the 12 disc / 12 film set The Films of Rita Hayworth Platinum Collection which itself comprises the The Films of Rita Hayworth Collection and the The Films of Rita Hayworth Collection Two. Both of these individual Collection packs have been released previously. If you have an interest in the stars or musicals and have not picked up the earlier releases, this collection is great value.

     The Films of Rita Hayworth Platinum Collection was supplied for review by ViaVision Entertainment. Check out their Facebook page for the latest releases, giveaways, deals and more.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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