POT O’ GOLD (1941)

How many times can you issue or re-issue a film on DVD. As often as you like if the movie is in the public domain.

POT O’ GOLD has had quite a few different disc covers over the years.

It stars James Stewart and Paulette Goddard , yet it feels like a small, cheaply made second feature.

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Fresh from winning an Oscar for The Philadelphia Story, in 1941, James Stewart made two more films for MGM, Come Live With Me and Ziegfeld Girl.

In between these two films came Pot O’ Gold, which hardly anyone ever mentions when discussing Jimmy Stewart’s career.

I’d love to know what the thinking was behind his appearance in this film,  which was produced independently by James Roosevelt, the eldest son of President   Roosevelt.

After these three films in 1941, James left Hollywood for five years during the war.

Pot O’ Gold ( also known as Jimmy Steps Out) was based on an NBC radio program in which $1000 was given away every week. The radio show featured Horace Heidt and his orchestra and they are also in the film.

James plays the owner of his family’s music store. His hobby is playing the harmonica.

Charles Winninger is his rich uncle who wants his nephew to join him  in his business. He sponsors a radio program.

Paulette is part of a happy family who love music too – she sings ( well, Vera Vann sings for her). Mary Gordon is her Irish mother who runs a boarding house which seems to be full of musicians.

The plot is very slight and although there are some nice musical sequences, it just seems odd that either Stewart or Goddard should choose to do it.

Paulette Goddard

Paulette Goddard

There is one lavish  number called ‘Broadway Caballaro”  , featuring Paulette, and I kept thinking of  Marion Davies in her musical numbers. Paulette is neither a singer or a trained dancer, so giving her this big number didn’t do it justice.

I’m trying to catch up with more of Paulette’s films. I finally saw Modern Times (terrific!) and The Cat and The Canary. Next on my viewing list is Second Chorus, The Crystal Ball and Diary of a Chambermaid.

Although  fans of Mr.Stewart often refer to him as ‘Jimmy’, it’s surprising that two of the DVD covers show his name as ‘Jimmy Stewart’.

 

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4 responses »

  1. Finally saw this last year and it does seem like a puzzler seeing Goddard and Stewart in this one. I wonder if he liked making musicals or not. He seems to have done a few (and even sang a few songs in Night Passage).

    It’s fascinating to see all the different covers!

  2. It certainly is an “odd duck” of a movie. The director and co-producer is George Marshall. He directed Stewart in “Destry Rides Again” and Goddard in a half dozen movies including “The Ghost Breakers”. Maybe they were all pals and thought it would be fun. Who knows?

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