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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

four for the price of one

8/10
Author: RitaRisque from Australia
29 March 2002

This movie is actually made up of 4 separate segments, each detailing how the football pools can affect someone's life.

In the first, a family discovers they have won, and at first everything is rosy. Mother wishes to move to the seaside. The son can invest some money in a mate's business. The father can rejoin the cricket team. But then the promised money causes trouble. The daughter's fiance feels inadequate marrying a rich girl. The deal is shonky. How can they live in Bournemouth AND stay in the cricket team? A lot of interesting twists in this one, to say more would give it away. 9/10 for enjoyment, though David Tomlinson does appear a bit of a bumbling fool. Keep your eyes out for 15 year old Petula Clark!

In the second, I think I fell asleep.

In the 3rd, the charming Greta Gynt does a blatantly obvious Gilda impersonation - "The Shady Lady" wears the same gloves and dress, has her hair the same way, acts the same as she sings, and is thoroughly enticing. She's a nightclub singer in need of a bit of cash. Her boyfriend works at the pools office, so she hatches an elaborate plan to fool the system and fake a win. A definite 10/10 for this one.

The final installment is light and humorous farce, about a double bass player who wins, and then discovers money isn't everything. Quick, borders on dull, but still a 6/10.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not The Inspiration For THE MILLIONAIRE

5/10
Author: ProfessorEcho from United States
29 May 2007

Just to correct an earlier post someone made here: This film was NOT the inspiration for the 1950's American television series THE MILLIONAIRE, which featured an unseen character named John Beresford Tipton giving a million dollars to a different person every week. That series was spawned by a 1932 American film for Paramount entitled IF I HAD A MILLION.

EASY MONEY is certainly a variation on the idea, portraying various people's stories after suddenly becoming wealthy. It's interesting in spots, but never quite achieves the levels of profundity or poignancy of the 1932 film.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

One Good Story and Three Bad Ones

5/10
Author: Alonzo Church from United States
14 June 2007

Four players of an English football pool find that they have won EASY MONEY. This movie, in four separate stories, explores how the sudden winnings changes their lives.

To a Yank, the premise of this movie (explored, documentary fashion in the first five minutes) is fascinating, as there is nothing equivalent to the football (er...soccer to us on this side of the pond) pool which brings on such large payouts. (The closest thing is the numbers racket, which, um, isn't legal.) As for the stories: The first one, featuring an average middle class British family in a loving marriage, is by far the best, in both plotting, acting, and conveying a unique sense of place. This bit is as good as Passage to Pimilco in conveying a sense of England during the late 40s. (I mean -- it has everything, austerity, taxes, cricket, Scotland Yard, and dreams of a house in Bournemouth.) Also, its always good to see a generally healthy family unit portrayed realistically; it does not happen often in the movies.

The second one, on the other hand, suffers from rampant stereotyping of meek little clerks and their domineering, officious wives. This, too, is a very English feeling story, but, in this case, not in a good way. Unsatisfactory.

The third tale is an attempt at an American style story, in which a beautiful but bad woman convinces the usual gullible male into gaming the pool so she wins the money. Like the ersatz jazz number and bad singing that starts this sequence, nothing about the story or characters here feels true. The girl is very beautiful, but her story is very phony.

The fourth tale is somewhat better, but is a self-conscious class-conscious "comic" tale of a cockney bass player for the local symphony orchestra, and his difficult relationship with the orchestra conductor. Some might like this; I found it a one joke tale stretched out far too long.

In other words, the first 40 minutes of this movie are really very good. The rest stinks.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Mediocre, old boy

5/10
Author: mutty-mcflea from Lincolnshire, UK
26 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A middling portmanteau drama in which various characters win the pools and we see the effect their new-found wealth has on them. Like most anthology films the segments vary in quality but even at its best the movie is never better than mildly entertaining.

In the first segment, a tight-knit family find that their win causes arguments and divisions before everything resolves itself in a tidy fashion accompanied by a comedic wah-wah. This part is so very British and stiff, all wizard and bang on and I say old boy, but it's likable enough even though the film's idea of poverty is Jack Warner and his brood living in an enormous cottage but having a bit of trouble paying the subs to his cricket club.

The next part has Mervyn Johns as a browbeaten husband who concocts a plan involving a faked heart attack in order to leave his job and appease his wife. Weirdly, this one builds up an endearing character and a lighthearted tone and then ends on a bleak and dramatic tone at odds with the rest of it.

Then we have the weakest segment, which begins with Greta Gynt sashaying stiffly through a nightclub, singing something like sounds like it was written by an off-brand Cole Porter. It gets a bit better after that, but not much; she and Dennis Price attempt to defraud the pool company and investigator Bill Owen rumbles them while talking around a cigarette he never lights. There's no tension here - or much of anything, really.

The final episode is probably the best, with Edward Rigby as a double bass player who uses his winnings to improve the lot of his fellow musicians. Again, this is nothing special but Rigby's performance is fun and his story ends the movie on a semi-satisfying note.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Drowning Pool

5/10
Author: writers_reign
17 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like the man said, you can't go home again, and you got that right, Tom. I saw this movie as a young kid and overall retained fond memories of the film overall without remembering anything specific except that in one segment a coupon checker employed by a Football Pool, attempts to 'slip' a winning entry - filled in after the results were broadcast - into the pile being checked. Even then my memory played tricks because I had spent a lifetime 'remembering' a female coupon checker when in fact it was Dennis Price, who against the run of play and laws of probabilities, had 'pulled' Greta Gynt and was acting at her behest. The other three segments had completely dropped off me mental radar and in playing order they were 1) a 'family' sequence in which, improbably, an 'ordinary' family inhabit what appears to be a minor mansion with umpteen rooms and a panelled dining room. Their genuine pools wins leads, inevitably to discord. In the second segment, milquetoast Mervyn Johns also enjoys a genuine win but is too brain-washed to quit his job. Succumbing to counter-brainwashing by his take-no-prisoners wife, he decides to fake a heart attack in order to retire on health grounds, only to suffer the real thing. The third segment is the one I half- remembered and the fourth features Edward Rigby as a disgruntled bass player in a large orchestra.

Like the man also said, nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

This could have been a lot better!

4/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
22 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Easy money" is an anthology film with four segments about people who are claiming the top prize for a football (soccer) pool in the UK. The segments are strung together by some very heavy-handed narration. For the most part, the four segments are adequate and no more.

The first segment is about a family that goes from being happy to being at each other's throats--all thanks to the winning ticket. In the end it has a nice twist, though I saw it coming well before it arrived. I'd give this one a 6. It is, however, a nice chance to see Petula Clark when she was a very young actress.

The second was pretty much a waste of time in my opinion. A guy who doesn't want to win happens to win and then he dies of a heart attack. I am not sure exactly what the writer intended with this one--it was pretty awful and I'd give it a 2. Why?! The third was a 'crime does not pay' segment and instead of comedy it's got shades of film noir--with a real femme fatale. Mildly interesting but it didn't seem to fit the film--coming off as moralistic and ill-fitting. I'd give this one a 3...maybe a 4. It's well made but as I said, it didn't seem to work with the rest of the film.

The final segment is about an old guy who plays with an orchestra. He's not particularly accomplished and when he learns he's won (in the middle of a performance), he announces to everyone that he's won and soon quits. I do wonder if the film makers copied this one from "If I Had a Million", as it's very, very, very similar to the final segment in it. It's mildly amusing and the best of the four segments, but the one in the earlier film was A LOT better--and more original. I'll give this one a 6--as the movie COULD have done this idea much better.

Overall, this is a pleasant but undistinguished British film. While normally I adore British films, in this case Hollywood did a similar sort of thing a whole lot better--and earlier---making it more original.

By the way, I agree with the one reviewer who felt this film was NOT the inspiration for the TV show "The Millionaire"--which was actually inspired more directly by the film "If I Had a Million". While there are similarities to each other, the plots for "Easy Money" and "The Millionaire" are too different.

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3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Difficult

Author: tedg (tedg@filmsfolded.com) from Virginia Beach
10 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is truly dreadful. It consists of four segments, each exploring the human effects of a windfall. In one case it is an illicit windfall.

What's notable is the relationship of this to the TeeVee series it spawned: "The Millionaire," where John Bears Phitipton (I hope I remember that right after 40 years), would give some random person a million dollars then invisibly watch with the audience.

That was an incredibly powerful notion, having a character join the audience. None of that here.

The final segment is a bass player in an orchestra who buys the whole place, turns out his despised conductor and elevates his instrument to the forefront. This one was good enough to actually watch. The others weren't

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

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