Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2018) on… Double Or Nothing (1937)

Time to dig into the 1937 movie Double Or Nothing starring Bing Crosby, Mary Carlisle, Andy Devine, Martha Raye and William Frawley.

Now, as to plot, we find two men (who turn out to be lawyers) leaving wallets all over town, each containing about $100 in cash.  When four people (Bing, Andy, Martha and William) read the card in the wallets telling where they can be returned, they are invited to the reading of a will.  There, they are told by the two lawyers that this was all part of a will.  Explaining that the deceased man had had a long-running bet with his brother, believing that people were honest and intelligent, while his brother believed that people were dishonest and corrupt.  The four were told they could keep the $100, and would be given $5000 each, with the provision that they had to double the money honestly within 30 days.  The first to do so would inherit the entire estate of about $1,000,000.  Now all four members of the group have their own ideas on how to do it (such as gold stock, a golf range, rowboats in the park, and a nightclub), but they all agree to share it if somebody wins, with the winner getting half a million and the other half being divided between the others.  Now of course, the living brother and most of his family don’t want them to win, so they try to sabotage their efforts.

Now, my opinion of this movie is that it is a lot of fun.  Most of the music is fun, but I definitely prefer the song “All You Want To Do Is Dance” (and I think most of those who know me can guess why).

A lot of the fun can be found at the nightclub near the end of the movie.  Part of the attraction for the nightclub is the “Sing Band,” comprised entirely of singers who can imitate various musical instruments (of course, be listening for when the band “sings” the “Garland Waltz,” or, for those who only know the music after Walt Disney had lyrics added to it, “Once Upon A Dream”).

One of the acts for the show is the dance team of Ames and Arno.  Their dancing is almost strictly comedic, with a lot of falling and other stunts, but it is a lot of fun.  I consider it an example of the type of dancing I suggested seeking out back when I wrote about King of Jazz.  Another act would be the Calgary brothers, mostly a comedic team, and a lot of fun.

As I said, this movie is a lot of fun, and I consider it good “comfort viewing” (at least, it is for me, anyways), and I recommend it because of that. The movie is available on DVD from Universal as part of the 5 film Bing Crosby Screen Legend Collection, or as part of the 24 film Bing Crosby Silver Screen Collection.

Film Length: 1 hour, 30 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Waikiki Wedding (1937)Bing CrosbyRoad To Singapore (1940)

Waikiki Wedding (1937) – Martha Raye – College Swing (1938)

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