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A dying millionaire instructs his lawyers to drop twenty-five purses containing a $100 bill on the streets of New York City. Four honest 'finders' return them to the lawyers. Under the terms of the will, each of them is given $5,000, and the first one to double that money within 30 days will receive the entire estate: $1,000,000. However, the greedy relatives cut from the will are determined to thwart each one's plans. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. It was released on DVD 14 November 2006 as one of 5 titles in Universal's Bing Crosby Screen Legend Collection, and again 11 November 2014 as one of 24 titles in Universal's Bing Crosby Silver Screen Collection. See more »
The story is contrived and start-stop-start in places, the night-club sequence has a lot of great touches but is perhaps overlong and the donkey-dressed stuntman was odd and unnecessary. Double or Nothing still makes for pleasant viewing. The sets are lavish, especially the lake set in It's On, It's Off, and the photography and direction are straightforward and efficiently organised. The music score has the right amount of lushness, energy and whimsy, complete with some fitting classical music, and the songs are great though not among the greatest tunes of any Bing Crosby film. The standouts are It's On, It's Off, Smarty and especially the heavenly The Moon Got in My Eyes. The choreography is lively and cleverly done, the water ballet forming It's On, It's Off is the most memorable but Ames and Amos' tango and the slow motion fight are worth looking out for as well. The dialogue crackles with wit and fits the term escapist entertainment just fine. There is a fair bit of nonsense in the goings-on but it is pleasant and part of the fun. Bing Crosby looks very comfortable here and his voice is as handsome as ever, The Moon Got in My Eyes is sung so beautifully by him and suits him like a glove. Mary Carlisle is charming, Andy Devine is amusing and William Frawley likewise. Martha Raye won't be for all tastes, her comedy can be quite farcical and not in the most subtle of ways but she looks as though she's having a whale of a time and despite having more to do she's not as emphatic as she was in Waikiki Wedding(though she was still fun in that too). Overall, good pleasant fun. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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