6.1/10
141
6 user 5 critic

Don't Tell the Wife (1937)

Approved | | Comedy | 5 March 1937 (USA)
A seasoned con artist and his associates discover that their scheme to get rich by selling stock in a worthless gold mine is fraught with obstacles.

Director:

Christy Cabanne

Writers:

George Holland (play), Nat Perrin
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Guy Kibbee ... Malcom J. 'Dinky' Winthrop
Una Merkel ... Nancy Dorsey
Lynne Overman ... Steven A. 'Steve' Dorsey
Thurston Hall ... Maj. Manning
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Lazarus Hubert Gregory 'Cupid' Dougal (as Guinn Williams)
Frank M. Thomas ... Insp. Mallory
William Demarest ... Larry 'Horace' Tucker
Lucille Ball ... Ann 'Annie' Howell
Harry Tyler ... Mike Callahan
George Irving ... Warden
Bradley Page ... Hagar - Salesman
Si Jenks ... Sam Taylor (as Cy Jenks)
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Storyline

Arch schemer Major Manning is fresh from prison but eager to hatch another "deal". He concocts a plan with his associates to sell stock in a worthless gold mine and skip with the profits. But first they need to establish the proper front. With money they borrow from Steve's wife--who thinks the money is being used to start a legitimate business--they rent a posh office, hire seasoned telemarketers to make the pitch and convince a dim newspaper columnist to lend the organization his prestigious-sounding name. The stocks sell like hotcakes and things look rosey for the boys. But when the little woman starts asking Steve too many questions; and when the rube fronting the company decides to take his job seriously; and when a customer complains to the authorities, prompting a detective to start nosing around the office--things begins to unravel for the Major. Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 March 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Once Over Lightly See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

RKO borrowed Guy Kibbee from Warner Bros., Una Merkel from MGM, and Lynne Overman from Paramount for this film. See more »

Quotes

Lazarus Hubert Gregory 'Cupid' Dougal: You talk like you expect something phony. We're reformed.
Insp. Mallory: Yeah - the last time I told the Chief that you'd reformed, he demoted me.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Movie Without Any Stars
12 July 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The busiest players in the Hollywood Studio era had to be the character actors. I don't think any of them rested at all. A whole gang of them got to work here in Don't Tell the Wife and with no star to steal scenes from they practiced their scene stealing monkeyshines on each other.

Guy Kibbee writes a financial column and a group of conmen Thurston Hall, Guinn Williams, Lynne Overman, and William Demarest have decided he's the perfect gullible dupe in which to hide their nefarious scheme involving a gold mine. They also need some seed money for their enterprise and a related con involves Lynne Overman convincing wife Una Merkel that the scheme is on the up and up. Kibbee is also used as a patsy for that.

That's as far as I'm going to go, but if you watch this picture and see all these wonderful players do their shtick, you almost might forget the plot here.

There was one star here however and one Academy Award winner. Hattie McDaniel is down in the cast list as, what else, a maid. And in a small role as the secretary to the schemers was Lucille Ball who became a bigger name than any of them. But that was in the distant future.


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