By accident Dagwood discovers a non-flammable paint. Bad guys Dillon and Stack steal it before he can give it to his boss Radcliffe. To show off his invention, Dagwood paints Radcliffe's ... See full summary »
Dagwood gets in trouble with bookies and winds up in jail. Bank manager Samuel Breckinridge comes to his rescue to thank Dagwood for getting compulsive gambler Mrs. Breckinridge out of the casino just before the police raid.
The Bumstead family dog, Daisy, becomes a top dog-model, and receives so much acclaim that she comes to the attention of a gangster's girl friend, who persuades the gang to kidnap Daisy for ransom. Blondie and Dagwood go to Daisy's rescue.
Through his blundering intervention in a party date set up by his boss for his son, resulting for the loss of a contract, Dagwood loses his job once again. Dagwood gets a construction job on a site for the lost client, and discovers the workmen are using faulty material on the job. He tells Blondie. Blondies takes over, and sets out to set matters right. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
BLONDIE HITS THE JACKPOT (Columbia, 1949), directed by Edward Bernds, the 26th installment in the long running "Bumstead family" comedy series, as based on Chic Young's comic strip characters, shows great promise with its title giving indication of a game show story centered upon the title character appearing as a contestant on a quiz show. While Blondie does win a prize, she doesn't get to claim it. That portion, which lasts only a few minutes, is the least important product of the story hence the title. Much of it revolves around husband Dagwood working at a construction site after getting fired from his old job (again). The remaining elements centers upon Alexander having girl troubles after going out on his first date.
Plot summary: As a favor for his boss, George M. Radcliffe (Jerome Cowan, in his last appearance in the series), Dagwood (Arthur Lake) agrees to have his son, Alexander (Larry Simms) attend a birthday party hosted by newcomer to the area, Louise (Ann Carter), daughter of Radcliffe's latest client, J.B. Hutchins (Lloyd Ingraham). Due to her demanding personality, Alexander leaves Louise sulking in favor of a better time dancing with the other teenage girls. After discussing Louise with her father, Mr. Hutchins demonstrates to Alexander how not to get pushed around, even by his daughter. At that moment, Dagwood, who has come to escort Alexander back home to discuss the facts of life with him, sees from a distance Hutchins shoving Alexander. Dagwood rushes over to sock the man into the swimming pool, discovering his misinterpretation too late and soon enough to get himself fired after Hutchins notifies Radcliffe. After Alexander tells her off by calling her a spoiled brat, Louise gets even by arranging for Mr. Bumstead to obtain a job at her father's construction site working under Brophy (James Flavin), a tough foreman, doing hard labor. While there, Dagwood encounters a couple of swindlers placing cracked steal beam in a building. As he telephones Blondie (Penny Singleton) to warn Mr. Hutchins, he is overheard by the bad guys (David Sharpe and Ray Teal) who want nothing more than to put Dagwood out of the way, leading to a merry chase around the site while Blondie, breaking away from her housework, acquires a bicycle to ride for help.
Series regulars include Marjorie Kent as Cookie; Danny Mummert as Alvin Fuddow; Alyn Lockwood as Mary, the Operator; and Dick Wessel as the Mailman, all with limited screen time. Ann Carter, best known for her substantial role in Val Lewton's THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (RKO, 1944), in which she played a troubled yet likable child, assumes her role here as an unruly motherless rich girl who gets her well-deserved, old-fashioned spanking for what she's done by none-other than Blondie herself. She asked for it, literally. Could this be Blondie hitting the jackpot? While BLONDIE HITS THE JACKPOT has been listed as the weakest in the entire series, it has some things worth noting, such as the sentimental elements that focus upon the Bumstead son. Those who have come this far in viewing this series from its humble beginning will take notice how age has caught up to its leading characters, gags included. Alexander is a teenager now, is seen shaving with his Dad's electric razor and imitating his father's unusual laugh. As he walks out the door all dressed up carrying a corsage for his first date, Blondie sadly tells Dagwood, "There goes Baby Dumpling." It is Dagwood who comforts Blondie to the reality that their little boy is now a young man, even after Alexander assures his Mom that she is still his best girl. Alexander, is seen earning some extra money for the family by delivering newspapers, with the help of his dog, Daisy.
As for comedy, there's slapstick, and plenty of it, much of it to the liking of children considering its cartoon-style situations, notably Dagwood, at the wrong place at the wrong time in the construction site, getting himself all plastered as cement gets poured all over him from above, to be returned home lying on the back of a pick-up truck nearly stiff as a board, but able to walk to the front door like a robot. Although gags like this are normally found in cartoons, it should be noted that since "Blondie" originated from the "funny papers," it would be natural for comic strip characters to find themselves in these type of situations. The sequence where Dagwood is pursued by the bad guys is amusing yet overly familiar, particularly when they all run take turns running into a cement tray being prepared by a harassed cement mixer (wonderfully played by Emil Sitka of "Three Stooges" comedy shorts fame).
Formerly available on video cassette through King Features, BLONDIE HITS THE JACKPOT, along with 27 others in the series, had a successful run (1996-2001) on American Movie Classics cable television. Next installment: BLONDIE'S HERO (1949) (**)
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