25 October 2013 | MartinHafer
A decent idea but poorly executed.
The film begins with some lawyers walking about town deliberately dropping wallets and purses so that someone will find them. Each is filled with $100 and an address. Four folks return the money and the four are invited to the reading of a very eccentric will. They will each be given $5000 and the first to double this HONESTLY will become heir to a $1,000,000 fortune. And, if none of them can double the money within 30 days, then the money goes to the dead man's brother and his family.
The brother, not surprisingly, is NOT happy about this scheme but instead of voicing his anger towards the four, he convinces his family to pretend to want to help them. He tells them that he doesn't need or want the money and asks them all to dinner. And, in turn, the family convince several of them to invest in stupid money-losing schemes. The problem is that the daughter (Mary Carlisle) starts to feel sorry for them--particularly Lefty (Bing Crosby).
The same DVD that contains "Double or Nothing" also contains "Waikiki Wedding". Both are Bing Crosby films and both feature Martha Raye prominently. I was NOT thrilled to see this, as Raye's brash manner is the opposite of Crosby's gentle image. Additionally, her singing is also the opposite--making up for her lack of a decent voice by increasing her volume--whereas Crosby was smooth made his songs seem natural and likable. As a result, practically every scene with her seemed like a chore to watch and greatly detracted from an otherwise pleasant story. Because of this, the film loses a few points. It also loses a few points for the final portion of the film--with too many weird review acts as well as a finale that in mindblowingly weird (such as the 'sing band') and impossible--especially with only $5000 to spend!