11 user 3 critic

Double or Nothing (1937)

According to the will of an eccentric millionaire, one of four randomly chosen strangers will become his heir if he/she can double $5000 by honest means.


Theodore Reed


Duke Atteberry, Erwin S. Gelsey (as Erwin Gelsey) | 3 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A beauty contest winner of the "Miss Pineapple Princess" pageant takes part in a publicity scheme in Hawaii, and is pursued by an advertising executive for the agency doing the promotion.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Burns, Martha Raye
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When a fellow bridge builder is killed in an accident, two of his co-workers bring his now orphaned daughter to New York to be adopted by relatives.

Director: David Butler
Stars: Bing Crosby, Gloria Jean, Charles Winninger
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Show business twin sisters Rosemary and Susie, one serious and the other a scatterbrain, join the WAVES and both fall in love with crooner Johnny Cabot.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Bing Crosby, Betty Hutton, Sonny Tufts
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Jeff grows up near Basin Street in New Orleans, playing his clarinet with the dock workers. He puts together a band, the Basin Street Hot-Shots, which includes a cornet player, Memphis. ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Schertzinger
Stars: Bing Crosby, Mary Martin, Brian Donlevy
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Of the singing Beebe brothers, young Mike just wants to be a kid; responsible Dave wants to work in his garage and marry Martha; but feckless Joe thinks his only road to success is through ... See full summary »

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray, Donald O'Connor
Mississippi (1935)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Crosby plays a Philadelpia Quaker engaged to a Southern belle. He becomes a social outcast when he refuses to fight a duel. Fields then hires him to perform on his riverboat, promoting him ... See full summary »

Directors: A. Edward Sutherland, Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields, Joan Bennett
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Stranded in Africa, Chuck and his pal Fearless have comic versions of jungle adventures, featuring two attractive con-women.

Director: Victor Schertzinger
Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour
College Humor (1933)
Certificate: Passed Action | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A college professor and the school's star football player are both rivals for the same beautiful coed.

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Bing Crosby, Jack Oakie, Richard Arlen
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Crusty Dr. McRory of Fallbridge, Maine hires a replacement for his vacation sight unseen. Alas, he and young singing doctor Jim Pearson don't hit it off; but Pearson is delighted to stay, ... See full summary »

Director: Elliott Nugent
Stars: Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Joan Caulfield
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A brash American gramophone salesman tries to get Emperor Franz Joseph's endorsement in turn-of-the-century Austria.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Bing Crosby, Joan Fontaine, Roland Culver
Doctor Rhythm (1938)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Dr. Bill Remsen pretends to be a policeman, and ends up being assigned to guard Judy Marlowe. Amazingly, he falls in love with her.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Bing Crosby, Mary Carlisle, Beatrice Lillie
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When two investors inform an opportunistic dancer that they can't fund an elderly stage producer's production, she suggests they get an insurance policy on the producer's life.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Glenda Farrell


Cast overview, first billed only:
Bing Crosby ... 'Lefty' Boylan
Martha Raye ... Liza Lou Lane
Andy Devine ... Half Pint
Mary Carlisle ... Vicki Clark
William Frawley ... John Pederson
Benny Baker ... Sailor
Samuel S. Hinds ... Jonathan Clark
William Henry ... Egbert Clark
Fay Holden ... Martha Sewell Clark
Bert Hanlon Bert Hanlon ... Nick Praxitales
Gilbert Emery ... Mr. Mitchell
Walter Kingsford ... Mr. Dobson
John Gallaudet ... Johnny Rutherford
Harry Barris ... Sing Orchestra Leader
Alphonse Bergé Alphonse Bergé ... Specialty


A dying millionaire instructs his lawyers to drop twenty-five purses containing a $100 bill on the streets of New York City. Four honest 'finders' return them to the lawyers. Under the terms of the will, each of them is given $5,000, and the first one to double that money within 30 days will receive the entire estate: $1,000,000. However, the greedy relatives cut from the will are determined to thwart each one's plans. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 September 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Doppelt oder Nichts See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. It was released on DVD 14 November 2006 as one of 5 titles in Universal's Bing Crosby Screen Legend Collection, and again 11 November 2014 as one of 24 titles in Universal's Bing Crosby Silver Screen Collection. See more »


Jonathan Clark: Will you have a cocktail?
Liza Lou Lane: No. No alcohol, kid. I get a feelin'z good.
Vicki Clark: What's the matter with feeling good?
Liza Lou Lane: Oh, you don't know how good I can feel.
See more »


Edited into Chop Suey (2001) See more »


The Moon Got in My Eyes
Music by Arthur Johnston
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
Sung by Bing Crosby
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Million to One
29 August 2003 | by lugonianSee all my reviews

DOUBLE OR NOTHING (Paramount, 1937), directed by Theodore Reed, is an enjoyable, but not particularly original, musical-comedy with a typical story about how found money can change or ruin a person's life. Similar in ways to Paramount's earlier IF I HAD A MILLION (1932), this production focuses primarily on four people in one simple plot instead of separate episodes dealing with different central characters in ten minute segments. It also capitalizes on the quite common rich girl-poor boy theme and setting it to musical interludes.

The film begins with a couple of men walking about town purposely dropping wallets obtaining $100 bills on the sidewalks and over the fences. Numerous people find it and go about their way, followed by a lone dog picking up the wallet by his mouth, trailing around until he locates "Lefty" Boylan (Bing Crosby), found singing on the stool in a diner while waiting for his meal. Instead of keeping the money, Lefty encounters the address in the wallet, and although he could use the money, he decides to do the correct thing and return it to the rightful owner. Entering a lawyer's office, Lefty finds himself being seated along with three other people, Liza Lou Lane (Martha Raye), a former burlesque entertainer, "Half Pint" (Andy Devine), a tramp, and John Pederson (William Frawley), a gambler. These four turn out to be the only ones honest enough to not take the money and run. They then learn from an attorney the purpose of the wallets and of a last will and testament from a deceased millionaire who wants to prove that there are still intelligent and honest people left in the world, and as for their honesty, they are each rewarded $5,000 with the agreement that the first one to double that gift legitimately within thirty days will get to inherit a million dollars, or else, acquire nothing. The foursome have their own individual ideas on how to double their money and agree they should divide half of the estate among others. Lefty, an unemployed singer, decides to use his good fortune and open up a night club featuring entertainment acts. However, situations arise when the deceased millionaire's brother, Jonathan Clark (Samuel S. Hinds), feeling cheated of his inheritance, schemes to foil these people's plans, especially in using his pretty daughter, Victoria Clark (Mary Carlisle), to romance Lefty while his younger son, Egbert (William Henry) to do the same with Liza Lou.

In between the plot comes a handful of good listenable tunes, scored by Arthur Freed, Burton Lane, Johnny Burke, Arthur Johnston, Al Siegel and Sam Coslow, including: "Double or Nothing" (sung by chorus during opening credits); "Smarty" (sung by Bing Crosby, accompanied by a singing chef, played by Alfonse Berg); "All You Have to Do Is Dance" (sung by Crosby to Mary Carlisle, with brief dance solo by a policeman, played by Jimmy Notaro); "It's the Natural Thing to Do" (sung by Crosby to Carlisle); "It's On, It's Off" (sung by Martha Raye); "The Moon Got In My Eye" (sung by Crosby); "Listen, My Children" (sung by Martha Raye); "Swan Waltz" (instrumental); "It's On, It's Off" (reprise by Raye); "Double or Nothing," "Double or Nothing" (reprise/ sung by chorus); "Clarinet Virtuoso" (performed by Ames and Arno); "The Moon Got In My Eye" (reprise, sung by Crosby); The Calgary Brothers Comedy Act (performed by Steve and Andre Calgary) followed by them singing "The Moon Got In My Eye," "After You" (sung by Frances Faye, Martha Raye, Bing Crosby and Harry Barris) and "It's the Natural Thing to Do" (reprise by Crosby). Of the Crosby tunes, the ones that come off best are "It's the Natural Thing to Do" and "The Moon Got In My Eye," with the latter beautifully performed instrumentally by a sing and humming band of twenty voices in the place of an orchestra. A novel idea. On the funny side, Martha Raye, a burlesque dancer, finds herself unable to control herself by doing a striptease act every time she hears the music to "It's On, It's Off," and at one point, continues to sing under the bubbles while submerging under water during a police raid. For the finale in the night club variety act comes the jive singing of Frances Faye and Martha Raye to the tune "After You." With their last names sounding alike (Faye and Raye), so does their loud vocalizing.

The supporting players include: Benny Baker as The Sailor; Fay Holden as Martha Sewell Clark; Walter Kingsford as Dobson; Gilbert Emery as Mitchell; John Gallaudet as Johnny Rutherford; and Harry Barris, (a familiar face in numerous Crosby musicals, mainly because he was part of his "Rhythm Boys" singing trio in his early days), playing an orchestra leader. Resident Hollywood drunks Charles Irwin and Arthur Housman can be seen briefly in the golf course scene, which is highlighted by Martha Raye opening her big mouth, belting out a giant cry that stops her short when a flying golf ball enters her mouth, causing her to swallow it.

Bing Crosby and his doll-faced blonde co-star, Mary Carlisle, make a fine on-screen couple. First paired in COLLEGE HUMOR (1933), they reunited for the third and final time in DOCTOR RHYTHM (1938), in which Andy Devine, who appears in DOUBLE OR NOTHING, appears with them once more.

The story used in DOUBLE OR NOTHING appears to be more interesting than the somewhat overlong musical and comedy acts performed in the night club sequence shortly before the close of this 94 minute production, but the good tunes, lavish sets and fine performances keep this from being just another mediocre musical. Rarely seen in recent years, it's worth rediscovering again. (***)

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed