Pot O' Gold (1941)

84-86 mins | Musical comedy | 11 April 1941

Director:

George Marshall

Writer:

Walter De Leon

Producer:

James Roosevelt

Cinematographer:

Hal Mohr

Editor:

Lloyd Nosler

Production Designer:

Hans Peters

Production Company:

Globe Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The Pot O' Gold radio program, which paid a $1,000 prize to a randomly selected winner each week, first aired on NBC on 26 Sep 1939 and featured Horace Heidt and His Musical Knights, the same band that appeared in the film. The program was taken off the air in 1941, but it was revived for a season on ABC starting 2 Oct 1946. HR news items include singer Mimi Cabanne and a six-woman vocal ensemble, The Singing Strings, in the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. The film was scheduled to have its world premiere in Mexico City, as part of a film festival organized by producer James Roosevelt, but the event did not come off as planned, prompting Roosevelt to accuse the major studios of sabotage. The film was screened at the White House on 3 Apr 1941.
       Roosevelt, the eldest son of President Franklin Roosevelt, spent two years as a vice-president with Samuel Goldwyn Productions before leaving to form his own company, Globe Productions. Pot O' Gold is the only film Roosevelt produced, however, before he was called to active military duty. After the war, he pursued other professional interests, and eventually became a six-term Democratic congressman from ... More Less

The Pot O' Gold radio program, which paid a $1,000 prize to a randomly selected winner each week, first aired on NBC on 26 Sep 1939 and featured Horace Heidt and His Musical Knights, the same band that appeared in the film. The program was taken off the air in 1941, but it was revived for a season on ABC starting 2 Oct 1946. HR news items include singer Mimi Cabanne and a six-woman vocal ensemble, The Singing Strings, in the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. The film was scheduled to have its world premiere in Mexico City, as part of a film festival organized by producer James Roosevelt, but the event did not come off as planned, prompting Roosevelt to accuse the major studios of sabotage. The film was screened at the White House on 3 Apr 1941.
       Roosevelt, the eldest son of President Franklin Roosevelt, spent two years as a vice-president with Samuel Goldwyn Productions before leaving to form his own company, Globe Productions. Pot O' Gold is the only film Roosevelt produced, however, before he was called to active military duty. After the war, he pursued other professional interests, and eventually became a six-term Democratic congressman from California. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
12 Apr 1941.
---
Daily Variety
4 Apr 41
p. 3, 5
Film Daily
4 Apr 41
p. 6.
Harrison's Reports
12 Apr 41
p. 59.
Hollywood Citizen-News
4 Apr 1941.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Dec 40
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Dec 40
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jan 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jan 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jan 41
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jan 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jan 41
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Mar 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Apr 41
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
5 Apr 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Feb 41
p. 63.
New York Times
4 Apr 41
p. 25.
New York Times
13 Apr 41
p. 5.
The Exhibitor
2 Apr 41
p. 723.
Variety
9 Apr 41
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Charlie Arnt
Jewell McGowan
Tommy Quinn
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A George Marshall Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story
Story
Idea of 'Pot O' Gold' originally conceived by
Idea of 'Pot O' Gold' originally conceived by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dance cine
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus arr
Vocal dir
DANCE
Dance dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
STAND INS
Stand-in for Charles Winninger
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the radio series Pot O' Gold (26 Sep 1939--1941
1946).
SONGS
"A Knife, a Fork and a Spoon," words and music by Dave Franklin
"Hi Cy, What's A-Cookin'," words and music by Lou Forbes and Henry Russell
"Pete the Piper" and "Broadway Caballero," words and music by Henry Russell
+
SONGS
"A Knife, a Fork and a Spoon," words and music by Dave Franklin
"Hi Cy, What's A-Cookin'," words and music by Lou Forbes and Henry Russell
"Pete the Piper" and "Broadway Caballero," words and music by Henry Russell
"When Johnny Toots His Horn," words and music by Fred Rose and Hy Heath
"Do You Believe in Fairy Tales," words and music by Vee Lawnhurst and Mack David.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
11 April 1941
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 3 April 1941
Production Date:
mid December 1940--late January 1941
Copyright Claimant:
James Roosevelt
Copyright Date:
8 April 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10413
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
84-86
Length(in feet):
7,699
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
7089
SYNOPSIS

James Hamilton Haskell, second-generation owner of a struggling music store, is invited to go into business with his uncle, Charles J. Haskell, a wealthy health food magnate and sponsor of a weekly radio program, "Haskell's Happiness Hour." Unfortunately for C. J., who detests music, his factory is across the alley from the strong-willed Mom McCorkle's boardinghouse, which is currently home to Horace Heidt and his band. When debts force Jimmy to close his music store, he decides to take his uncle up on his offer, but along the way he meets Mom's pretty daughter Molly, a singer with Horace's band. While Molly is describing her family's longstanding feud with C. J., his employee, Jasper, shows up with the police and demands that the music stop. Jimmy lobs a tomato at Jasper, but it hits C. J. instead, and a delighted Mom rewards him with a free room. Later, Lt. Grady shows up and, after Molly credits Jimmy with the tomato attack, reluctantly arrests him. Judge Murray has just postponed the trial and released Jimmy on bail when C. J. barges into the courtroom, and Jimmy, afraid of being identified as a Haskell, sneaks out and ends up locked in a paddy wagon. The judge cites C. J. for contempt and sends him to jail, where he finds Jimmy entertaining the other prisoners with his harmonica. Upon his release, Jimmy learns that the band members pawned their instruments to post his bail. When C. J. gets out of jail that night, he is too hoarse to do his radio program, having been forced to participate in singalongs with his cellmates, so Jimmy ... +


James Hamilton Haskell, second-generation owner of a struggling music store, is invited to go into business with his uncle, Charles J. Haskell, a wealthy health food magnate and sponsor of a weekly radio program, "Haskell's Happiness Hour." Unfortunately for C. J., who detests music, his factory is across the alley from the strong-willed Mom McCorkle's boardinghouse, which is currently home to Horace Heidt and his band. When debts force Jimmy to close his music store, he decides to take his uncle up on his offer, but along the way he meets Mom's pretty daughter Molly, a singer with Horace's band. While Molly is describing her family's longstanding feud with C. J., his employee, Jasper, shows up with the police and demands that the music stop. Jimmy lobs a tomato at Jasper, but it hits C. J. instead, and a delighted Mom rewards him with a free room. Later, Lt. Grady shows up and, after Molly credits Jimmy with the tomato attack, reluctantly arrests him. Judge Murray has just postponed the trial and released Jimmy on bail when C. J. barges into the courtroom, and Jimmy, afraid of being identified as a Haskell, sneaks out and ends up locked in a paddy wagon. The judge cites C. J. for contempt and sends him to jail, where he finds Jimmy entertaining the other prisoners with his harmonica. Upon his release, Jimmy learns that the band members pawned their instruments to post his bail. When C. J. gets out of jail that night, he is too hoarse to do his radio program, having been forced to participate in singalongs with his cellmates, so Jimmy fills in for him and is heard by Horace and Willie, Molly's brother. Later that night, Jimmy sneaks out of C. J.'s mansion and returns to the boardinghouse, where he is confronted by Willie and Horace. After Jimmy confesses that C. J. is his uncle and pays to get the band's instruments out of hock, Willie and Horace decide to help him by getting C. J. out of the way. Posing as a professor, Horace accompanies Jimmy to C. J.'s home, while the band hides in the furnace room and plays loudly. When Jimmy and the "professor" claim not to hear the music, C. J. decides to take a trip to Canada to rest his nerves. The next day, Jimmy calls on broadcasting executive J. K. Louderman and, after wresting control of the program from Jasper, arranges for Horace's band to perform on the next show. The broadcast is a big success, but the happy mood is broken when Jasper reveals Jimmy's identity to Molly. Feeling betrayed, Molly goes to the microphone and announces that, beginning with next week's broadcast, $1,000 will be given away during every show. C. J., who has been listening to the broadcast at a Canadian trading post, is apoplectic, and begins the long journey home. The next day, C. J.'s lawyer asks Jimmy to sign a statement declaring Molly responsible for the giveaway idea, knowing that a judgment against the McCorkles would enable C. J. to take their property, but Jimmy refuses. Louderman then arrives with Samson, a government official, who warns Jimmy that while he is legally obligated to give the money away, he may not use lotteries, raffles or contests to do so. Jimmy wracks his brain to figure out how to give the money away, and finally, on the night of the broadcast, the sound of the chiming clock gives him an idea. Using phone books from all over the country, Jimmy and Molly spin a carnival wheel to select the winner, Olaf Svenson of Minnesota. C. J. arrives as the broadcast is underway, and is about to call a halt to the proceedings when Louderman introduces him to two advertising men eager to buy the show. C. J. and Mom McCorkle bury the hatchet, and Jimmy announces over the air that he and Molly will soon be married. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.