18 May 2003 | gregcouture
Manages to get out of the starting gate, if not all the way to a photo-finish!
This one isn't all that bad...really! Dean Martin was well-cast as a guy whose gambling addiction causes his wife, played by Lana Turner, to concoct a scheme to keep him out of debt by secretly becoming his "bookie." Trouble is, he hits a winning streak and she has to sell off jewelry, furnishings and other baubles to pay off his windfall. Before Walter Matthau became a major name-above-the-title headliner, he played "Tony Gagoots," big-time bookie with an elaborately concealed electronic control room for his illegal empire, and he's partnered with Nita Talbot, as his main squeeze, "Saturday Knight," and she's one of this film's comic highlights. There are also Eddie Albert and his wife, Margo, on hand to lend amusing and very professional support and the whole thing is prettily mounted in Panavision (which means that the VHS version is probably "formatted" - not a plus!) and Technicolor. It's an early-Sixties example of what TIME magazine, in a fairly positive review, called a "yak derby" and, if you're a fan of those two always-funny character actors, Paul Ford and John McGiver, they have a few moments in this one that lend to the proceedings some genuinely winning laughs.