7 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.


Christy Cabanne


George Holland (play), Nat Perrin


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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)


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>

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Men Are Chumps and Women Can Prove It! (Print Ad- Boone County Recorder,((Burlington, Ky.)) 1 July 1937) See more »




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Did You Know?


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


Nancy Dorsey: Some day you guys are gonna discover that those suckers are more than just names on a list or voices on a telephone. They're people. Real people! And they need that money that you take away from 'em for their homes and their kids and - well, someday there's gonna be a suckers rebellion. I hope!
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User Reviews

Lighthearted Fun !
10 June 2002 | by tmpjSee all my reviews

Any flick with Guy Kibbee or Thurston Hall or Guinn 'Big-Boy' Williams has got to have entertainment value. The chemistry works with "Don't Tell The Wife". A con-man tries to get out of the rackets and settle down with his wife, but the pull of the old game is too strong for him to resist. He's got to make another score for security and for old time's sake. The wife doesn't buy in quickly. Kibbee helps to convince her via his bumbling character in this flick (which probably would have been better handled by a Cecil Calloway or Frank Morgan). In times prior to this, the chiselers had sold phony stock to phony mines. This time there is a real mine, but what happens comes as quite a surprise to all concerned. Completely out of touch with reality, and only suggestive of madcap without going overboard, this one is actually kinda entertaining.

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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 »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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