In the days before the National Lottery, everyone wanted to win the football pools, and that’s the theme of Easy Money, a portmanteau of stories. Four diverse tales reflect the differing fortunes for people who come into a fortune by picking eight score draws on a Saturday afternoon. Each story is directed by Bernard Knowles, arguably best known for his work as a cinematographer with Alfred Hitchcock in the 1930s on such classics as The 39 Steps . The cast blends household names of the time – Jack Warner, Dennis Price, Edward Rigby – with relative newcomers – David Tomlinson, Petula Clark, Bill Owen – who became well known in later years.
The first story is a comedy about the Stafford family (led by father Jack Warner) who experience a gamut of emotions when they believe they’ve won the pools, falling out with each other over their newly gained fortune. Then daughter Jackie (Petula Clark) realises she’s not posted the coupon. The second story features a meek office worker, Herbert Atkins (Mervyn Johns), who is afraid to tell his boss that he wants to quit having won a fortune. Then he comes up with an outrageous scheme, involving being declared unfit for work by a fake doctor, which has tragic consequences. The third segment, also a drama, features a pools company clerk, Joe (Dennis Price), coerced into faking a winning entry by his girlfriend (Greta Gynt). Joe falls under suspicion when the pools company investigators pay his girlfriend a visit. Finally, the fourth story is another comedy, about a dispirited double bass player who discovers he’s won the pools while on the music stand during a concert. He resigns and enjoys the high life, but still keeps in touch with a colleague, Archie (Guy Rolfe). When he hears that his old orchestra is in financial straits and may be disbanded, he comes up with a novel solution.
“A vast public interest in football pools ensures that everyone will want to see this film about their favourite pastime,”
advertisers claimed at the time.
Based on a play by Arnold Ridley who was also responsible for the comedy classic The Ghost Train but is best known for playing Private Godfrey in Dad’s Army.
Cast: Jack Warner, Marjorie Fielding, Yvonne Owen, Jack Watling, Petula Clark, Mabel Constanduros, David Tomlinson, Maurice Denham, Mervyn Johns, Greta Gynt, Dennis Price, Joan Young, Gordon McLeod, Grey Blake, Bill Owen, Edward Rigby, Guy Rolfe, Raymond Lovell
Director: Bernard Knowles
Writers: Muriel and Sydney Box (based on the play by Arnold Ridley)
Release Date: 20 January 1948
Running Time:94 minutes
Genres: Crime, Drama, Comedy, Portmanteau,
Country: United Kingdom