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Double Dynamite (1951)

Approved | | Comedy, Music | 25 December 1951 (USA)
An innocent bank teller, suspected of embezzlement, is aided by an eccentric, wisecracking waiter.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (additional dialogue) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Johnny Dalton
...
R.B. 'Bob' Pulsifer Jr.
...
R.B. Pulsifer Sr.
...
'Hot Horse' Harris, the Bookie
...
Mr. Kofer
Harry Hayden ...
J.L. McKissack
William Edmunds ...
Mr. Baganucci
Russell Thorson ...
Internal Revenue Service Tailman (as Russ Thorson)
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Storyline

Bank teller Johnny Dalton, too poor to marry his sweetheart 'Mibs' Goodhug, saves a big-time bookie from a beating and receives a munificent reward...which just happens to match a mysterious shortage at the bank! Will Johnny's pal, eccentric waiter Emile, get him out of trouble...or in so deep he'll never get out? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Place Is Exploding With Laughter !

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

It's Only Money  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Using the picture's original title, "It's Only Money," Jule Styne (music) and Sammy Cahn (lyrics) provided a comical song for Frank Sinatra and Groucho Marx (a duet) plus Jane Russell (a trio reprise). See more »

Quotes

Mildred 'Mibs' Goodhug: I'm even willing to marry you.
R.B. 'Bob' Pulsifer Jr.: Marry? You can't threaten me. Hello, operator? Get me the police right away!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Lenny Bruce Without Tears (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Jesse James
(uncredited)
Sung by Groucho Marx
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sinatra's Last Schnook Role
8 September 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Frank Sinatra's last role under his contract with RKO was this slight comedy Double Dynamite. It was also the last time he played a milquetoast schnook.

Double Dynamite was started in 1948 but Howard Hughes in his infinite wisdom kept under under wraps for three years, not releasing it until Christmas of 1951. In a backhanded way he may have helped Sinatra because in 1951 the film offers were not coming and at least his name was kept before the public eye.

Hughes could read the trade papers though and the Sinatra who had box office clout in 1948 had little in 1951. Probably Frank was going to be billed below Jane Russell in a Hughes production in any event, but he was third billed below Groucho Marx in this one.

If this had been done at Paramount you would have seen Eddie Bracken and Betty Hutton in the roles Sinatra and Russell have. They're both bank tellers at Howard Freeman's bank, but Freeman's in retirement and it's run by his playboy son Don McGuire and manager Harry Hayden.

Frank and Jane make $42.50 a week, not a princely sum even back in 1951 and poor Frank goes and asks for a raise from Hayden. Personally I thought it was his best moment in the film. The way Hayden just jawbones him out of the raise reminded me of Branch Rickey negotiating salaries with baseball players. Right around the time this film was being made, there was a campaign against Rickey being orchestrated by New York Daily News sports columnist Jimmy Powers. One of the tags Powers hung on Rickey was El Cheapo. Based on the stories that Powers and others told about Rickey beating down every dollar a player might ask for, I have no doubt Rickey was the model for Hayden's character.

Anyway Frank lucks into a windfall when he saves a notorious bookmaker, Nestor Paiva, from a beating being dished out by a rival mob. In gratitude Paiva 'lends' Frankie a thousand dollars and he bets on several 'sure things' with Paiva and he walks away with $60,000.00.

But as Frank returns triumphantly from Paiva's betting parlor, he discovers Hayden making a speech to the staff about someone embezzling a lot of money. Not even Russell believes him. His only ally is their good friend, a waiter at a one arm spaghetti joint, Groucho Marx.

At this point Groucho really takes over the film. He gives Sinatra and Russell all kinds of advice, romantic and financial, about how to deal with this perplexing situation. One of them being put all the money in his name. They do that and Groucho does live it up in grand style.

Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn wrote two of their most forgettable songs. With the release held up for three years, Sinatra never even bothered to record them for Columbia Records where he was at the time. Kisses and Tears is a duet with Jane Russell and there's a comedy patter number, It's Only Money for Groucho and Frank. Sinatra was usually given some great songs by Styne and Cahn in the forties, but they definitely failed him here.

If it wasn't for Groucho Marx, Double Dynamite might very well be several notches lower in my estimation. When he's not on the screen you just wait for him to come back. I have a funny feeling that Groucho stole the film from Jane Russell who Hughes was trying to build up and that that was the reason it was held up for three years.

I marvel that Jane Russell had any career at all considering Howard Hughes's obsession with her two weapons of mass destruction. Double Dynamite is the third film that I know of that he held for years before releasing that starred her, The Outlaw and the noir classic His Kind of Woman were the other two. Good thing she did The Paleface with Bob Hope over at Paramount and out of his reach.

Besides those mentioned look for a nice performance by William Edmunds as Groucho's suffering employer, Mr. Baganucci. And Don McGuire is really quite the wolf in wolf's clothing as he keeps sexually harassing Jane.

It's not a great film, it might have been better had it been in the hands of someone like Preston Sturges at Paramount.


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