Believing he has only a month to live, average guy Joe McDoakes decides to live life to the fullest in the time he has left.


(as Richard Bare)


(as Richard Bare)


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Cast overview:
George O'Hanlon ...


Plagued by chest pains, a stiff neck, and a ringing in his ears, average guy Joe McDoakes sees a doctor who tells him he only has a month to live. McDoakes decides to live those thirty days to the fullest. He burns his bridges by physically attacking both his boss and IRS agent and proceeds to go on a spending binge that has him buying a new car and boat, hiring a butler and gypsy violinist, being showered with the attentions of beautiful women, and scheduling a trans-Atlantic cruise only to find that his symptoms are attributable to a tight shirt collar. Written by G. Taverney (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short





Release Date:

29 March 1952 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


When McDoakes refers to taking the piano out of the Presidential Suite on the transatlantic liner he is sailing on, he is referring to the then current President Harry Truman's penchant for playing the instrument. See more »


Joe McDoakes: You know, I love Europe this time of year. It's so... so... European! Tell me, did you get the bridal Suite?
Brewster: I'm sorry, sir; all I could get is the Presidential Suite.
Joe McDoakes: Oh! Have the piano taken out.
See more »


Follows So You Want an Apartment (1948) See more »


aka "Hearts and Flowers"
Music by Alphons Czibulka
Played on the violin at the beginning
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User Reviews

Nice Laughs
24 February 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

So You Want to Enjoy Life (1952)

*** (out of 4)

One of the better installments in the Joe McDoakes series has our favorite loser feeling tightness in his chest, a stiff neck and ringing in his ears so he goes to see a doctor who tells him he has thirty days to live. Joe decides to go out on top by running up piles of bills, quitting his job and giving his boss a few paybacks. Of course there's going to be a twist in the story. George O'Hanlon's "So..." series is always hit and miss but I found this one to be one of the best in the series because of the non-stop jokes and the delight the actor brings to his role. The film opens up with McDoakes trying to kill himself but he can't even do that correctly. The revenge that he plays on his boss gets a couple nice laughs as does his reaction to when he's told he is about to die. Another nice sequence happens when the twist is revealed, which really plays out well.

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