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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

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Gold Diggers (2003) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Fanny CrosbyTwo cute baby boys of mean origin pass through a grand orphanage under the stern tutelage of one Sister (“such an unhappy woman”) Mary (“What a face!”) Once out they do “shit” work (“The masses work for minimum wage”) until the bright one of the two George Calvin “Cal” Men­hoffer (Will Friedle) persuades the lesser Leonard Small­wood (Chris Owen) to join him in a “fool­proof” life of crime. In South-Central L.A. they soon make the papers as the "World's Dumbest Criminals." Writer Michael Connelly has described the gold standard of criminality as:

all it would have taken for a thief cruising the area south of Santa Monica was to spot a woman walking her dog and follow her home. He'd keep watch to determine if she lived alone and then come back the next day at the same time when she took the dog out again. Most people didn't realize that their simplest routines made them vulnerable to predators. A practiced thief would have been in and out of her house in ten minutes tops. (5)

These two nascent crooks spot a woman at her routine, but they fail to keep good watch and end up with complications. Their second attempt is to hit two old biddies exiting a bank, but again they fail to observe their body language as those who have been rejected after begging for money. The men end up with bupkes. How­ever, these two pairs get together with the same idea: to get married and cash in on the (nonexistent) fortune in one case and an insurance policy in the other, once the cows or the callow fellows have been dispatched. Unwilling to get close and personal with that last step, they take to making the mansion a “death trap.” The gay result is a bit of collateral damage to what­ever help is around the house on the unlucky day.



Owing to movie Sister Mary's influence, “Gold Diggers” lampoons religion, though not Catholicism per se. Religious lingo lends itself to mockery and it's always around. Scholar Joshua What­mough writes that, “Within the territory of a language, wide deviations of dialect may be found … Such deviations disturb communications, they do not completely disrupt it. And they are, in all known languages, past and present, a constant feature, like archaisms (e.g. in religious or legal terminology)—” (51, 28). In a Nikki Nude Out­take, gorgeous Charlene (Nikki Ziering) tells Cal, “Always take me with thee.” She stumbles over the sentence as she's not used to the poetry. In the final cut it's, “take me with you.”

In Cal's practice eulogy, he quotes, (Psalm 28:1) “Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.” Here in the sacred dialect of the King James Version (KJV), thee & thou are second person singular pronouns referring to the one addressed, in the objective & subjective case respectively. Plural would have been you or ye. Webster defines, “ye pron you 1 — used orig. only as a plural pronoun of the second person in the subjective case and now used esp. in ecclesiastical or literary language and in various English dialects.”

Today's standard English employs you—sometimes you understood—in all 2nd person cases. This is a step down in language refinement. As H.W. Fowler discusses in an article:

Any word that does the work of two or more by packing several notions into one is a gain (the more civilized a language the more such words it possesses), if certain conditions are observed: it must not be cumber­some; it should for choice be correctly formed; & it must express a compound notion that is familiar enough to need a name. (175–76)

Thus actress is an improvement over female actor. Like­wise is thee, thou, you, ye more refined than you, you, you, you, the latter four needing context from which to derive its number and case. In National Lampoon's GD, “our beatings and whippings” were attended by Sister Mary's remark, “Take this, you little piece of shit!” The beatings were administered individually, one can tell by the “piece of shit” that went along with “you.”

The yucky marriages of twenties Cal and Len to the septuagenarian sisters Betty Mundt (Renee Taylor) and Doris Mundt (Louise Lasser) were a parody on the aversion Catholics would feel towards a couple of theirs marrying into the Mundt condom fortune, which itself mimics the objections many Christians in general hold to believers marrying nonbelievers, this latter despite the fact that St. Paul allows it (1Cor. 7:12-15.) Paul also addresses marriage situations individually, say, the unbelieving spouse sticking with the believer in one case, and leaving him in another, which our movie pairs may face for their part.

This brings us to Uncle Walt (Rudy DeLuca) hoarding the Mundt inheritance while he obsesses about World War II. Poor bloke was assigned to passing out pamphlets in Newark on VD prevention while the rest of the army was fighting the Battle of the Bulge. During that battle Germans tried to infiltrate the Allied lines dressed as GI's. In our lampoon, this would answer to (2Cor. 6:14) “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: ...,” that Christians should be banded together in their aggregate service with others like them, and like­wise the Allies should be fighting together yoked with other Allies, with­out Germans being mixed into their ranks. In a modern Bible retranslation that uses the non-specific you, one must look at the “shit” that goes along with it to get the number, i.e. (2Cor. 6:17) “Where­fore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” VD is prevented on an individual level, but wars are fought by whole armies.

Christian teacher Norm Fox discusses in his class materials where, “2Cor. 6:14 warns believers not to become ‘unequally yoked’ with unbelievers. The verse is often applied to the issue of Christians marrying non-Christians, although that is not what the context is all about. ¶“The principle is that when believers connect them­selves with unbelievers in matters where moral decisions will be made, they will risk becoming parties to unac­cep­table results” (2). Bible teacher Steve Gregg in his radio question-and-answer show, The Narrow Path, was in substantial agreement with that, as of the summer of 2018. Our movie here lampoons the plural (understood) pronoun being applied to marriage by making the marriages plural. One of the two men proposes for both of them and one of the two sisters accepts for both sisters. The (Protestant) minister (J.J. Cole) performing the ceremony weds both couples at the same time, ending with, “I now pronounce you mans and wives.” The four of them sleep together in a single huge bed. In an alter­nate ending Betty wants to explore “open marriage.”

I seriously doubt the apostle Paul was coming out against mixed group marriages there; he wasn't addressing marriage at all. That so many Christians seem to read his plural statement as even applying to marriage leaves them open to such a lampoon as this one. Since I have a religious bent and have had this “unequally yoked” (in marriage) idea flung at me time and again as a proof text, I can appreciate this movie's humor and thought it worth­while to elaborate on it.

Production Values

” (2003) was directed by Gary Preisler. It was written by Gary Preisler and Michael Canale. It stars Will Friedle, Chris Owen, Louise Lasser, and Renée Taylor. Lasser and Taylor were excellent. My favorite was J.J. Cole whose minister part waxed charismatic.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for crude and sexual humor, and some drug related material. There's an unrated version that features a lot of Nikki Ziering titty shots. Consistent with National Lampoon's reputation, the movie is pretty crass. It seemed to be resting on past laurels rather than breaking new ground.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

I'm absurdly easy to please, so I enjoyed GD in all its silliness. This is not National Lampoon's greatest offering, but it will do in a pinch. What you see is what you get.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Well done special effects. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Video Occasion: Late night. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Connelly, Michael. The Late Show. Copy­right © 2017 by Hieronymus, Corp. New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2017. Print.

Fowler, H.W., A Dictionary of Modern English Usage. USA. Oxford UP. 1926–1946. Print.

Fox, Norm. T&S Bulletin for February 18, 2018. Copyright © 2018, The Times and the Scriptures, 948 Darlene Ave., Spring­field, OR 97477. Print. Used by permission.

Whatmough, Joshua. Language A Modern Synthesis. New York: Mentor Books, 1957. Print.

Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, Mass.: MERRIAM-WEBSTER. 1984. Print.