Easy Money (1948 film)
Easy Money is a 1948 British satirical film about a modern British tradition, the football pools. It is composed of four tales about the effect a major win has in four different situations in the post-war period. Written by Muriel and Sydney Box, based on the play "Easy Money" written by Arnold Ridley, and directed by Bernard Knowles, it was released by Gainsborough Pictures.
|Directed by||Bernard Knowles|
|Produced by||A. Frank Bundy|
|Distributed by||Gainsborough Pictures|
|20 January 1948|
|Box office||£125,300 (by Dec 1949)|
In the first story, a comedy, a content suburban family, headed by Jack Warner, is turned into an unhappy lot by their various reactions to a win on the football pools. When matters reach a point where they begin wishing that they had never won the money, the youngest daughter (Petula Clark) announces that in fact she forgot to post their entry, and they all regain their previously happy lives. But then it is discovered that it was a previous entry she had forgotten to post and the winning coupon was mailed, and they decide that they have learned a lesson and resolve not to let the money ruin their happiness.
In the second, a mild-mannered clerk (Mervyn Johns) with a domineering wife wins a large amount but becomes concerned when his wife insists he quit his mundane job. He finds the prospect of having to tell his employer that he is resigning too daunting, so he plots with a friend that he will fake illness as a way of leaving, but the deceit proves so taxing that he suffers a heart attack.
The final episode, another comedy, concerns a disillusioned double-bass player (Edward Rigby) who after a large win on the pools discovers he misses his friends in the orchestra he left, so he becomes its benefactor, subject to the condition that the double-bass section is given unusual prominence in the orchestral lineup.
- Greta Gynt as Pat Parsons
- Dennis Price as Joe Henty
- Jack Warner as Philip Stafford
- Mervyn Johns as Herbert Atkins
- Marjorie Fielding as Ruth Stafford
- Yvonne Owen as Carol Stafford
- Jack Watling as Dennis Stafford
- Petula Clark as Jackie Stafford
- Mabel Constanduros as Grandma Stafford
- David Tomlinson as Martin Latham
- Maurice Denham as Detective-Inspector Kirby
- Joan Young as Agnes Watkins
- Gordon McLeod as Cameron
- Grey Blake as Wilson
- Ernest Butcher as Clerk
- Bill Owen as Mr Lee
- Hugh Pryse as Martin
- Jack Raine as Managing Director
- Richard Molinas as Johnny
- Edward Rigby as Edward "Teddy" Ball
- Guy Rolfe as Archie
- Raymond Lovell as Mr Cyprus
- Frank Cellier as Director of Orchestra
- John Blythe as Waiter
Critics at the time noted the film was faintly reminiscent of the all-star 1932 Hollywood release If I Had a Million. It earned mixed reviews, but proved to be popular with audiences – still reeling from the effects of World War II – seeking lighthearted entertainment.
The film earned a profit of £2,200.
- Andrew Spicer, Sydney Box Manchester Uni Press 2006 p 210
- Spicer, Andrew. "'The Apple of Mr. Rank's Mercatorial Eye': Managing Director of Gainsborough Pictures". Academia.edu.au. p. 106.
Gainsborough Melodrama, edited by Sue Aspinall and Robert Murphy, published by the British Film Institute, London, 1983