Pot O' Gold (April 3, 1941)
Released on April 3, 1941: Jimmy Stewart tries to end the feud between his music-hating Uncle Charlie and the big band next door.
Produced by George Marshall and James Roosevelt
Directed by George Marshall
Written by Haydn Roth Evans and Robert Brilmayer
The Actors: James Stewart (Jimmy Haskell), Paulette Goddard (Molly McCorkle), Horace Heidt (himself, orchestra leader), Charles Winninger (Charles 'C.J.' Haskell), Mary Gordon (Mom McCorkle), Frank Melton (Jasper Backus), Jed Prouty (J.K. Louderman), Charles Arnt (Parks), Dick Hogan (Willie McCorkle), James Burke (Police Leutenant Grady), Donna Wood (Donna McCorkle), Larry Cotton (himself, singer), Art Carney (banc member and radio announcer), Beverly Andre (Alice), Herbert Ashley (doorman), Bobby Barber (prisoner), Harry Bowen (street sweeper), Aldrich Bowker (Judge Mike Murray), Ed Brady (fruit and vegetable vendor), Frankie Carle (Frankie, pianist), Virginia Carroll (Haskell's secretary), Ken Christy (Sheriff), Edgar Dearing (Police Officer McGinty), Dick Dennis (singer), Abe Dinovitch (fish peddler), Evelyn Dockson (Mrs. Sweeney), Fern Emmett (boy's mother), Carlos Fernando (orchestra leader), James Flavin (Sheriff Bud Connolly), John Frank (drunk cellmate), Victor Potel (Olf Svenson), Jody Gilbert (Helga Svenson), William Gould (attorney Chalmers), Eddie Gribbon (Expressman), Paul Gustine (Minitor man), Chuck Hamilton (Policeman), Ray Hanson (office in courtroom), John Holland (sponsor), Bud Jamison (drunk cellmate), Roy Lester (Jitterbug dancer), Jewel McGowan (Jitterbug dancer), Charles McAvoy (turnkey), Howard M. Mitchell (jailer), Nellie V. Nichols (Mrs. Poppadolis), William H. O'Brien (country club waiter), David Oliver (drunk cellmate), Max Ong (Wong Lung, Chinese laundry worker), Nestor Paiva (Canadian guide), Purnell Pratt (Thompson), Tom Quinn (announcer), Alvino Rey (pedal steel guitar player), Mary Ruth (Mary Sevens, young piano player), Claire Rochelle (Mary Stevens' mother), Buddy Roosevelt (office in anteroom), Henry Roquemore (Mr. Samson, Federal inspector), Mel Ruick (announcer), Tim Ryan (Snookey Spieler), Adele Smith (flashy girl), Harland Tucker (sponsor), Fred Walburn (boy in doorway), Jay Ward (boyfriend), Pat West (trading post manager), George Whalley (Haskell's chauffeur), Paul White (bootblack), Stan Worth (Tommy, young trombonist)
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Uncle Charlie and the Hit-and-Run Tomato
I am old . . . Very old . . . . And when I say that out loud, no one ever disagrees with me. . . .sigh . . . . But I wasn’t born yet when this movie was made, and I wasn’t alive when big band music was the rage of jitterbug dancers. . . . . Just the same, any time I feel blue . . . . Anytime I need to find my smile, I listen to one of the big bands from the 1940’s, like Harry James and His Music Makers. So even if you are not old enough to remember the music from the big band era, you might want to give it a listen sometime. Like me, you might just enjoy music from an era that you did not live in. Imagine my surprise a few weeks ago when Harry James called my cell phone. No, I haven’t gone any crazier than I’ve always been, it was Harry James Jr. calling me on a quiet Saturday morning while I was preparing another movie to share.
His father, Harry James, played trumpet for the Benny Goodman Orchestra until 1939 when he started his own big band in Philadelphia. Harry James' wife Louise Tobin was the torch-singer for the band, and she had a long and lustrous singing career that lasted even longer that Harry James and His Music Makers. Harry James Jr. was born in 1941, the same year that this movie premiered, and as I write this, his famous mother Ms. Tobin is a lively and still active 97 years old and living with her son Harry James Jr. in the Dallas, Texas area. Together they are creating the Golden Digital Network. . . . Hop over there and you can watch videos of both of them recorded quite recently.
If you are too young to remember Harry James or singer Louise Tobin, you might remember a fellow that Louise Tobin discovered back in 1939, who became Harry James Jr.’s Godfather when he was born in 1941. Louise Tobin had heard a young fellow on a radio program and when she introduced the young fellow to her husband Harry James, Frank Sinatra was signed to his first singing contract for $75 a week with Harry James and His Music Makers.
In this musical comedy starring Jimmy Stewart and Paulette Goddard, the big band is that of Horace Heidt, who was a famous radio band leader at the time with a weekly program called ‘Pot O’ Gold.’ Art Carney, one of the Horace Heidt band members went on to greater fame as a television star with Jackie Gleason in a situation comedy called ‘The Honeymooners.’ In this movie you can catch him announcing for the thousand dollar giveaway. This music filled story features a classic clash between a rich old businessman who hates music pitted against his neighbors, who like to play big-band dance music on the roof all day and all night. Jimmy Stewart is the old grouch’s nephew, and he will fall in love with the beautiful singer for the band, and try to keep both sides from knowing who he really is. Lots of comedy, lots of snappy, upbeat, toe-tapping music, lots of fun, and an amazing peek into 1941 American music and musicians. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Art Carney and Horace Heidt
Dick Hogan, Jimmy Stewart and Horace Heidt
Dick Hogan and Jimmy Stewart
James Burke and Paulette Goddard
Jimmy Stewart and Charles Winninger
James Stewart and Paulette Goddard
Jed Prouty and James Stewart
Jed Prouty and Jimmy Stewart
Jimmy Stewart and Charles Winninger
Jimmy Stewart and William Gould
Mary Gordon, James Stewart and Paulette Goddard
Mary Gordon and Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard and Donna Wood
Paulette Goddard and James Stewart
Paulette Goddard and Mary Gordon