Saturday, November 7, 2020


It is amazing how movies can transform you back to a different period in your life. For this review I had the pleasure of watching Bing’s 1937 movie Double Or Nothing. I had not seen the movie in over ten years, but it was one of the first movies I remember watching as a child. Back then I did not have the recordings Bing made for the film, so I had a handheld tape recorder that I held up to the television speaker to record the songs. It is amazing how far we have come in technology since then! When I was younger, I remember watching Double Or Nothing and thought it was a really fun movie. Seeing it now years later, it is just as fun of a movie, and I might have a better appreciation for the talent that was in Double Or Nothing.

The film had its premiere on September 1st, 1937 at the Paramount Theater in New York City. The movie begins with a stranger leaving wallets $100 in them all over the city. In the wallet is an address to return it to. Not everyone returns the wallet, but four honest souls did. They included a performer who hopes to open up a night club (Bing Crosby), a two bit criminal/thief (William Frawley), an ex-dancer who was trying to stay on the right side of the road (Martha Raye), and a clueless buffoon (Andy Devine). Those four people go to the address where they were instructed. It ends up an eccentric millionaire died, and he did not trust his family. What he did trust and believe in was the honesty of strangers. His lawyer tells the four confused people that they will get $5000 to keep. However, the first person who could double that sum within one month, through honest means, would inherit the millionaire’s entire estate. Otherwise, the entire estate would go to the millionaire’s greedy brother who is determined to thwart the plan. 

Each of the four try their hand at doubling their money. However they are sabotaged by the millionaire’s family which includes the greedy brother of the millionaire (Samuel Hinds), his wife (Fay Holden) and their beautiful daughter (Mary Carlisle). William Frawley loses his money very quick by listening to the greedy brother. Martha Raye tries her hand at opening a boat tour run by her old dancer friends. Unfortunately, when a particular song is played – “It’s On, It’s Off”, Martha takes her closes off so guess what happens on their opening night! Andy Devine has what seems like a promising business. He opens a little business where one tries to sink a single golf ball and win a big money prize. The sneaky brother brings in a golf pro to sink a putt, but he cannot. At the very last minute though a drunk stumbles into the business and sinks a hole in one, so Andy Devine loses his money. Bing ends up being the only smart one! He wants to open a nightclub, and he rents the building from the millionaire’s brother, but he reads the fine print and sees the nightclub is only zoned for storage, so he buys the building next door to move the nightclub to on the night of opening...


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