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Pot o' Gold1941

  • 3.7
This goofy musical was a spinoff from a successful radio series, the very first to feature a regular cash giveaway to lucky listeners. But, more importantly, it cashed in on the national craze for "swing" music. James Stewart plays a cheerful small-town music store proprietor who goes to the big city when his business goes under. He immediately gets caught up in the war between a rich factory-owning uncle who "hates music" and the big band that drives him crazy by rehearsing on the rooftop of the boarding house next door. There's little doubt which side he'll take since he not only plays a swingin' harmonica, but also gets to jonesing over the pretty songbird daughter (Paulette Goddard) of the band's landlady. The screwball sensibility here has average citizens bursting into song on the street, others using utensils as musical instruments at the dinner table, plus a Henry VIII fantasy and a production number with Goddard in male drag as a "gay caballero" on "Rhumba Road." Stewart later called it the worst movie he ever made (apparently forgetting the prior ICE FOLLIES OF 1939) but today, POT O' GOLD's near-anarchic humor is refreshingly silly. Third-billed Horace Heidt, playing himself, was one of the era's most popular dance band leaders. - Dennis Harvey

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