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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 <email@example.com>
Jimmy Stewart goes slumming into the land of the B's
I have a question that goes beyond the one that's in this movie - Who is the Mystery Husband? (and by the way, I recognized his voice) - WHAT was THE James Stewart doing in a B movie? Did he owe Fox a film or what? That to me is the most intriguing question.
Stewart doesn't raise this film to A status, but having him in it certainly brings it up a notch. He plays husband and father Bill Lawrence - maybe George Bailey 20 years hence "It's A Wonderful Life" had it not been for Clarence - who's bored with the routine and, in middle age, realizing that the house, the wife, the kids, the job, - this is it. As he puts it, he's not going to the North Pole. Then he gets a call from the Federal Broadcasting System to make sure he's home that evening to get a call from a quiz show. If he can answer the question correctly, he'll get $24,000 in prizes.
Bill answers correctly, and then the trouble begins. Where to put the fully-dressed quarter ton of meat, the 7,000 soups, the three years of frozen foods, the old furniture since the house is being made over, the pony, etc. And who's going to pay the taxes on all that stuff. These aren't the only headaches. Bill's wife (Barbara Hale) is jealous of the dishy dame (Patricia Medina) hired to paint Bill's portrait, so his marriage is going down the tubes.
This is a cute movie that does have some amusing bits in it, plus good backup from James Gleason and Fred Clark. The best for me was Bill deciding they need to sell stuff to pay taxes, and trying to do it on the sly in the department store where he works, waylaying customers like a guy who drags you into a back alley. Stewart is wonderful, as if he could ever be anything but, and Barbara Hale is lovely. But give me a break. This could have been a sit-com episode. I can't imagine what gun Darryl Zanuck held to Jimmy's head to get him to do this movie. Zanuck must have had dirt on him that no one else knew.
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