Double Dynamite (1951) starring Groucho Marx, Jane Russell, Frank Sinatra
Double Dynamite is a romantic comedy, with poor bank clerk Johnny Dalton (Frank Sinatra) wants to marry his true love, and fellow bank teller, Mildred Goodhug (Jane Russell) — but can’t afford it. His friend, Emil (Groucho Marx) is a waiter who nearly breaks them up and sends her into the arms of a co-worker — spoiled rich son of the bank owner. Things change, however, when Johnny rescues a man from a beating …The man is actually a bookie, who “rewards” the unwilling bank clerk with $1,000 — and then bets it for him on three successive horse races, winning over $60,000 — the amount that the bank is short. Johnny and Emil try to hide the money, but one thing leads to another …
It’s not a bad movie, but the pacing is too slow — and the movie is only 90 minutes long. Groucho is funny when he’s on screen, with a constant flurry of one-liners, and the song “It’s Only Money” is fun as well.
Editorial review of Double Dynamite, courtesy of Amazon.com
He may be an underpaid bank clerk but his voice is worth a million bucks. Frank Sinatra is $42.50-a-week teller Johnny Dalton, who comes across big money – and big trouble – in this frothy comedy. It’s Only Money, Sinatra sings with his quipster pal Emil (Groucho Marx). Yet lack of it keeps him from marrying fellow bank employee Mibs (Jane Russell). Before you can say romantic comedy, Johnny rescues a bookie from a beating and receives a betting tip in appreciation. The appreciation appreciates into thousands. But there’s a catch: the bank is short $75,000. And cash-flush Johnny is Suspect #1. Maybe Johnny’s lot will be just Kisses and Tears (a Sinatra/Russell duet and the second of the film’s two Jule Styne/Sammy Cahn tunes). The good news: Double Dynamite will also be love, laughs and stardust galore.
Funny movie quotes from Double Dynamite
Johnny Dalton (Frank Sinatra): And if we did get married, how would we manage? I have nothing. How would we live?
Mildred ‘Mibs’ Goodhug (Jane Russell): I’m sure something would come along.
Johnny Dalton (Frank Sinatra): Yeah. And we’d have to feed that too.
Mildred ‘Mibs’ Goodhug (Jane Russell): The sun’s still shining in the sky …
Johnny Dalton (Frank Sinatra): Sure – he doesn’t work for the friendly bank.
Emile J. Keck (Groucho Marx): I’ve got a horse running in the third who’s so fast that he’ll win the second.
Johnny Dalton (Frank Sinatra): Do we have to have poetry?
Emile J. Keck (Groucho Marx): Why not? It goes with the lunch.
[After the waiter has caused his girlfriend to leave him]
Johnny Dalton (Frank Sinatra): Are you satisfied now?
Emile J. Keck (Groucho Marx): No – she didn’t leave me a tip.
R.B. ‘Bob’ Pulsifer Jr.: Do you know where he’s gone?
Mildred ‘Mibs’ Goodhug (Jane Russell): No, but I know I’d like him to go … but we don’t have a branch down there.
Emile J. Keck (Groucho Marx): A woman can smell mink through six inches of lead.
Emile J. Keck (Groucho Marx): [hiding the $40,000 in gambling winnings in a shower head] This was an inspiration on my part! They’ll never think to look here; who ever heard of a cop taking a shower?
[Finding Emile J. Keck in Johnny Dalton’s bath tub]
Mr. Kofer: Well, I like THIS!
Emile J. Keck (Groucho Marx): You do? Well, join me!
R.B. Pulsifer Sr.: Do you believe in charity?
Emile J. Keck (Groucho Marx): Giving or receiving?
Mildred ‘Mibs’ Goodhug (Jane Russell): I’m even willing to marry you.
R.B. ‘Bob’ Pulsifer Jr.: Marry? You can’t threaten me. Hello, operator? Get me the police right away!
Rosenthal, Police Dispatcher: The girl, caucasian, brown hair and eyes. Height 5 -7, weight 135 pounds… extremely well distributed.
Trivia for Double Dynamite
- Frank Sinatra was originally supposed to receive top billing in the film, but was reduced to third at the insistence of producer Howard Hughes.
- The police report on Johnny says he “resembles Frank Sinatra”.
- Filmed between November 22 and mid-December 1948, the movie was held back three years until its Manhattan opening at the Paramount Theatre on December 25, 1951.
- The title “Double Dynamite” is a reference to Jane Russell’s … figure.