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.

Easy Money
Original poster
Directed byBernard Knowles
Written by
Produced byA. Frank Bundy
Distributed byGainsborough Pictures
Release date
20 January 1948
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£125,300 (by Dec 1949)[1]


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 third is a crime caper involving a part-time coupon checker (Dennis Price) and his nightclub singer girlfriend (Greta Gynt) who devise a scheme to embezzle the winning pot.

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.



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.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Andrew Spicer, Sydney Box Manchester Uni Press 2006 p 210
  2. ^ 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

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