20 user 4 critic

The Jackpot (1950)

Passed | | Comedy | 1 November 1950 (USA)
Bill Lawrence wins a slew of prizes on a radio quiz program. His happiness is short-lived when he discovers he'll have to sell the prizes in order to pay the taxes on them.


Walter Lang


John McNulty (New Yorker article), Phoebe Ephron (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
James Stewart ... William J. 'Bill' Lawrence
Barbara Hale ... Amy Lawrence
James Gleason ... Harry Summers
Fred Clark ... Mr. Andrew J. Woodruff
Alan Mowbray ... Leslie
Patricia Medina ... Hildegarde Jonet / Hilda Jones
Natalie Wood ... Phyllis Lawrence
Tommy Rettig ... Tommy Lawrence
Robert Gist ... Pete Spooner
Lyle Talbot ... Fred Burns


Bill Lawrence wins a slew of prizes on a radio quiz program. His happiness is short-lived when he discovers he'll have to sell the prizes in order to pay the taxes on them. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He had a wife, two kids, a home of his own, a job with a future and then POOR JIMMY WON THE $24,000 RADIO JACKPOT!




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Pete Spooner's suggested answer to the radio show's "tortoise and hare" qualifying question is "Middleground and Your Host". This is a reference to two famous racehorses of the day. Your Host was favored to win the 1950 Kentucky Derby but faded badly and lost to Middleground. See more »


The shadows of trees and other objects on the street in front of the Lawrence home face the same direction in both the opening-shot of the movie, which is set in the morning, and in the scene late that afternoon when Bill comes home from work. See more »


Lawyer: "They might detatch your salary."
William: "Then I'll quit my job and live on soup."
Lawyer: "They might detach this house."
William: "Then I'll burn down the house!"
See more »


Ain't We Got Fun
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Ray Egan and Gus Kahn
Sung by an off-screen chorus during the opening credits
See more »

User Reviews

An inoffensive time-passer
24 July 2008 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

If this hadn't been a Jimmy Stewart film, then I probably would have enjoyed this film a lot more. After all, it's a pleasant little time-passer. However, for Stewart we have all come to expect so much more than just a simple script and a somewhat forgettable film. It isn't surprising that of all this films in the 1950s, this might be one of the most obscure ones and it's hardly ever shown on TV. They did release it on DVD some time back, but it's also apparently out of print and unavailable at Amazon. It's pretty obvious why this film never took off and is just about forgotten.

Jimmy plays an executive who works for a local department store. His life is pretty happy and ordinary. Then, out of the blue, he's contacted by a national radio contest with gobs of prizes. When he gets the right answer, he wins over $20,000 in prizes--though none of it is in cash. The cash would have been nice, as Stewart soon realizes he's not as lucky as he thought, as now he owes taxes on a lot of unnecessary goods AND his marriage and job are on the rocks--all thanks to the contest.

The acting is pretty good. I particularly liked James Gleason in support and Stewart is his usual affable self. However, not all the parts are written very well--in particular, Barbara Hale (who plays his wife) comes off as very petulant and nasty. This snappy personality didn't make sense, as she went from devoted wife to jealous ----- (I can't use the word--it won't pass IMDb standards).

Overall, the film certainly isn't bad and is worth a look. However, indifferent writing and a story that seems very forced make this a film you can skip or see as purely a time-passer.

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Release Date:

1 November 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Jackpot See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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