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The Jackpot (1950)

Passed | | Comedy | 1 November 1950 (USA)
Bill Lawrence wins a slew of prizes on a radio quiz program. His happiness is short-lived when he discovers he'll have to sell the prizes in order to pay the taxes on them.

Director:

Writers:

(New Yorker article), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
William J. 'Bill' Lawrence
...
Amy Lawrence
...
Harry Summers
...
Mr. Andrew J. Woodruff
...
Leslie
...
Hildegarde Jonet / Hilda Jones
...
Phyllis Lawrence
...
Tommy Lawrence
Robert Gist ...
Pete Spooner
...
Fred Burns
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Storyline

Bill Lawrence wins a slew of prizes on a radio quiz program. His happiness is short-lived when he discovers he'll have to sell the prizes in order to pay the taxes on them. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He had a wife, two kids, a home of his own, a job with a future and then POOR JIMMY WON THE $24,000 RADIO JACKPOT!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der geheimnisvolle Ehemann  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pete Spooner's suggested answer to the radio show's "tortoise and hare" qualifying question is "Middleground and Your Host". This is a reference to two famous racehorses of the day. Your Host was favored to win the 1950 Kentucky Derby but faded badly and lost to Middleground. See more »

Goofs

The shadows of trees and other objects on the street in front of the Lawrence home face the same direction in both the opening-shot of the movie, which is set in the morning, and in the scene late that afternoon when Bill comes home from work. See more »

Quotes

Lawyer: "They might detatch your salary."
William: "Then I'll quit my job and live on soup."
Lawyer: "They might detach this house."
William: "Then I'll burn down the house!"
See more »


Soundtracks

Ain't We Got Fun
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Ray Egan and Gus Kahn
Sung by an off-screen chorus during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Be Careful-- You Might Get What You Wish For
7 September 2008 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Amusing little programmer that may be dated, but moves along nicely. Department store exec Jimmy Stewart has a suburban home, two cute kids, and a dutiful wife (Barbara Hale). He's a little bored but otherwise okay. That is, until he wins a yard full of dubious prizes (fruit trees, 1000 cans of soup, et. al.) from a radio show. That's sort of okay too, until he finds out he's got to pay $7000 in taxes on loot they really can't use. Now the happy home turns upside down and into a sales bazaar as Stewart tries to raise the tax money and get his life back to normal. However, the complications pile up almost as fast and furiously as the chuckles.

Clever script from the Ephrons (Henry & Phoebe), along with a number of nice touches from ace comedy director Walter Lang. Note how he has a card-playing guest humorously peek at the cards while others are distracted by the radio show-- that had to be an inspiration of the moment. Stewart, of course, brings his usual brand of amiable befuddlement to the comedy mix, and who better to play his department store boss than that 50's curmudgeon of big business, baldy Fred Clark, (I hope there's a special place in Hollywood heaven for unsung performers like him).

I remember the mystery-guest quiz shows that the movie portrays. They were popular and fascinating for an audience trying to unravel the riddle of the celebrity guest (eg. Jack Benny as the "Walking Man"). I don't know, but I'll bet that those shows started paying the taxes on prizes after this movie was released. This is a good example of the kind of family comedy that soon migrated to 50's sit-com (Ozzie & Harriet; Leave it to Beaver). Probably it would not have been produced 5 years later, quiz-show premise or not. Nonetheless, there's enough human interest and clever comedy set-ups to overcome the period limitations and keep you entertained.


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