According to the final shooting script, Gold Diggers was supposed to end with a reprise of "The Gold Diggers' Song (We're in the Money)," preceded by "Shadow Waltz." "Petting in the Park" was paired with "Remember My Forgotten Man" much earlier in the film.
At 5:55 PM PST on March 10, 1933, the Long Beach earthquake hit southern California, measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale. When the earthquake hit, Busby Berkeley was filming the "Shadow Waltz" dance sequence on a sound stage on the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank. The earthquake caused a blackout on the sound stage and short-circuited some of the neon-tubed violins. Berkeley was almost thrown from a camera boom, and dangled by one hand until he could pull himself back up. Since many of the chorus girls in the dance number were on a 30-foot-high scaffold, Berkeley yelled for them to sit down and wait until the stage hands and technicians could open the sound stage doors and let in some light.
Cut from the release print was Ginger Rogers' version of "I've Got to Sing a Torch Song" (music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dubin), warbled atop a white piano in a nightclub, where she can be spotted briefly in a long shot of the orchestra. Ginger's prerecording still exists.
Following his quip about Warren and Dubin, Barney Hopkins (Ned Sparks) refers to "the Astaires" in pointing out theatrical excellence. Fred Astaire and his sister Adele Astaire had been the reigning brother/sister duo on Broadway until Adele's retirement the previous year. Ginger Rogers, soon to become Mr. Astaire's screen partner at RKO, is in this scene in which Fred and Adele are mentioned.
In an early scene, producer Barney Hopkins (Ned Sparks) yells, "Cancel my contract with Warren and Dubin!" In fact, Harry Warren and Al Dubin were quickly becoming one of the most successful songwriting teams in Hollywood of the Thirties, and they penned all the tunes in this picture.
Several cast members in studio records/casting call lists for this movie were not seen in the final print. These were (with their character names): Neely Edwards (Stage Manager), Lilyan Tashman (Eleanor), Louise Beavers (Maid), William Bakewell (Wally), Julia Swayne Gordon (Cissy Grey), Gertrude Short (Topsy), Albert Gran (Blake) and Conway Tearle (Stephen Lee).
The musical numbers were added to the film after it was already finished due to the enormous success of Busby Berkeley's routines in 42nd Street.
The play "The Gold Diggers" by Avery Hopwood opened at the Lyceum Theatre in New York on 30 September 1919 and closed in June 1920 after 282 performances. The opening night cast included Ina Claire and Lilyan Tashman.
Various people, including director Mervyn LeRoy and choreographer Busby Berkeley, have claimed credit for Ginger Rogers' pig-Latin rendition of "We're in the Money". In her autobiography, Rogers gives the credit to then Warner Bros executive Darryl F. Zanuck.
Was originally planned to end with the production number "Petting in the Park", but after seeing the complete numbers, the studio added the politically charged "My Forgotten Man" at the end, pointing out that while the cast is "in the money", many others were not Depression-era America were not. Remains of the old order are visible; in the final backstage scene, Ruby Keeler and the chorus girls are all wearing costumes for the number "Petting in the Park".