6.2/10
87
5 user 3 critic

Don't Tell the Wife (1937)

Approved | | Comedy | 5 March 1937 (USA)
A seasoned con artist and his associates discover that their scheme to get rich by selling stock in a worthless gold mine is fraught with obstacles.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Nancy Dorsey
...
Steven A. 'Steve' Dorsey
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Major Manning
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Lazarus Hubert Gregory 'Cupid' Dougal (as Guinn Williams)
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Insp. Mallory
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Larry 'Horace' Tucker
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Ann 'Annie' Howell
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Mike Callahan
...
Warden
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Salesman Hagar
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Sam Taylor (as Cy Jenks)
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Storyline

Arch schemer Major Manning is fresh from prison but eager to hatch another "deal". He concocts a plan with his associates to sell stock in a worthless gold mine and skip with the profits. But first they need to establish the proper front. With money they borrow from Steve's wife--who thinks the money is being used to start a legitimate business--they rent a posh office, hire seasoned telemarketers to make the pitch and convince a dim newspaper columnist to lend the organization his prestigious-sounding name. The stocks sell like hotcakes and things look rosey for the boys. But when the little woman starts asking Steve too many questions; and when the rube fronting the company decides to take his job seriously; and when a customer complains to the authorities, prompting a detective to start nosing around the office--things begins to unravel for the Major. Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

5 March 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Once Over Lightly  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
An hour well-spent.
28 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This on was a lot of fun. A reformed con man (Lynne Overman as "Steve Dorsey") gets lured back into the fraud business, having to lie to his beloved wife to do so. They're selling fake stock, and they hire a patsy, "Malcom Winthrop" to front it. He has the right name to make the deal sound sweet.

Guy Kibbee is brilliant as Winthrop, but you feel bad for the character as he is made to feel important when he is really a pawn. He tries to be helpful, but everything collapses on him. Meanwhile, the racket continues with the feds closing in.

It's interesting to note that a young Lucille Ball is in this film, but she's not yet given laughs. I wondered what if Ball had played the leading lady, "Ann Dosey"? No. It's not a funny role and Una Merkel plays it perhaps better than it merits.

It's a short movie and a few pretty good laughs.


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