"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Monday, April 12, 2021

Movie Review: Pot O' Gold (1941)

 Greetings, friends!

It is no secret that my favorite actor is James Stewart and I want to watch every movie he was in. It was May when I last reviewed one of his movies, Seventh Heaven (1937), so it’s high time to do it again! This is might be my least favorite of his films that I’ve seen so far (and I’ve seen 15), but there were redeeming factors. One of them is a certain person. Any guesses of who? Keep reading to see!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. This review is spoiler-free!

Pot O’ Gold (1941):
(Also known as The Golden Hour and Jimmy Steps Out.)

Based on: the TV show Pot O’ Gold (1939-1941), an idea created by Haydn Roth Evans & Robert Brilmayer.
When Jimmy Haskell has to close his music store he agrees to work for his uncle’s health foods corporation in the city. His uncle, C. J. Haskell, is always bothered by the musicians practicing outside of his building. He hates music! Jimmy accidentally falls in with these musicians, the McCorkles, by playing his harmonica. They don’t know who he is and he wants to keep it that way because there is quite a feud between the families. How can he hide his identity and keep jiving to music while his uncle doesn’t know?
Comedy. It doesn’t have enough music to call it a musical, but there are some tunes in here.

Length: approx. 85 minutes.
Script: 10. No bad words!
Crew: Directed by: George Marshall. Written by: Andrew Bennison, Walter De Leon, Monte Brice, Harry Tungend, Haydn Roth Evans & Robert Brilmayer. Produced by: James Roosevelt (yes, the son of FDR!).
James Stewart as Jimmy Haskell.
Paulette Goddard as Molly McCorkle.

Charles Winninger as C.J. Haskell.

Horace Heidt as himself.
Mary Gordon as Ma McCorkle.
Dick Hogan as Willie McCorkle.
Donna Wood as Donna McCorkle.
Frank Melton as Jasper.
Jed Prouty as Mr. Louderman.
Charlie Arnt as Parks.
James Burke as Lt. Grady.
Costumes: 7. They are all fine. In one scene I thought they were a little weird and random, but that’s just me. Nothing bad!
Cinematography: 6. I don’t remember anything stunning about it being new and different, but it was okay.
inematography by:
Hal Mohr.

Music: 8. We get the amazing few seconds of Jimmy Stewart singing, so of course I’m a little biased. I really liked his involvement in all of the musical endeavors though they were small. I wasn’t crazy about the rest of the songs because it was without him. Yeah, I can’t really be trusted on this matter.
Music by: Louis Forbes.
Notes: I didn’t know this until I started doing research for this review, but this was inspired by the success of the TV program called Pot O’ Gold which gave away money the same way it does in this film! That straightens things out for me because I was confused why it was called this for the whole time watching the film.
: 7. I got one line out of it in my notes, but I haven’t quoted it in my daily life since I saw it.

‘“And I told him when he opened this place he’d never make a go of it!”
“Well, he kept it failing successfully for 25 years. That’s not bad.”’
Content: 9. I can’t think of anything that I could take away points for this category. I guess there are some people who are slightly intoxicated at one point, but that’s it.
Originality: 7. I’m not singing it’s praises for being the most creative film in the century, but it was cute enough. It reminds me of Herbie Rides Again (1974) in a few ways, but of course that came later.
Good For:
Fans of the actors especially Jimmy Stewart, anyone who wants a cute little movie.

Age Range: It’s perfectly fine for all ages. I feel like a younger audience would like the carefree attitude the most, but it’s good for anyone who just wants a jolly break with their movies.
Overall Score: 7.5.
Worth watching?: Yes, for one reason that is a great excuse for so many things: Jimmy Stewart! I’m so used to seeing him play more dramatic roles that this looks like it was a fun role for him to just be able to play with. It was the first time that I’ve seen him where the character’s name is his own which kept making me laugh.
Will I watch again?:
I’m not quite sure. There’s potential that I would for Jimmy, but Paulette Goddard sometimes annoys me. Maybe one day!

Bonus thoughts:
Something that I didn’t like and that really confused me was this extravagant dance routine which was being recorded for the radio. Why did they go through so much work if people wouldn’t see the visual? Especially because the head actress/singer didn’t really do any singing, she just strutted around. It was funny in an annoying way. I know that other people were watching it live, but it just seemed over the top. It’s interesting to think about radio now because it isn’t used as often with all of our newer technology.

I liked that the musicians looked like they were hanging out and relaxing at a jam session so it felt natural. Charles Winninger was very amusing and a lot of my favorite parts revolved around him! There were a few cringy moments, but overall I’m glad that I watched this to cross off another on my list of James Stewart movies!

There you have it! Have any of you seen this? Tell me your favorite James Stewart movie! Are you guilty of watching things just because they have your favorite actor or actress? How’s your Easter season going?



  1. I love this movie!!! With all the music and the plot, it's one of our family's favorite and it's high time we re-watched it! We are big Jimmy Stewart fans as well; have you ever seen Shop Around The Corner or The Rare Breed?

    1. I just watched it by myself, but I can see how this would be a hit with my family, too! It has so much fun for all ages. I love The Shop Around the Corner! The Rare Breed is on my list to watch, so I'm glad to hear that it's good!

  2. I love this movie, too! I love the lively McCorkle household, and Jimmy Stewart's uncle in the movie is absolutely HILARIOUS!! The whole scene where they try and make him think he's going crazy! Ha!! Oh, now I want to watch this movie again!! And...and...and.. oh, this movie is just one of my favorites!!!! :) :) And yes, I agree, Jimmy Stewart singing and playing the harmonica was really fun to see!

    1. Goodness, the part where they make his uncle think he was the only one hearing music was my favorite part! I couldn't stop laughing! They captured what a huge family is like, for sure! Music + Jimmy Stewart: can it get any better? ;)

  3. I've never seen this movie, but it looks really good.
    I am definitely guilty of watching things just because an actor/actress I like is in it. It's a verrryyyy easy way to get me to watch something (even if I previously had no interest in it).

    1. It was a fun musical jaunt!
      It's not just me! If he or she did an excellent job in something I've watched then it only makes sense that it'll happen again, right?


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