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  • 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.
  • Wouldn't you know it? Dean Martin has a gambling problem, or at least his wife Lana Turner thinks so, in this relatively unknown but worthwhile movie. This Lana/Dean teaming is an hilarious hoot to watch. While it may seem a bit incredible to believe, if you just sit back and relax, you'll find plenty of laughs. With a great cast featuring Walter Matthau, Paul Ford, Eddie Albert, Eddie's wife in real life Margo, as the maid, and Nita Talbot as Lana's next door neighbor with great taste in decorating. Dean's presence gives the film the why-do-I-care-about-anything feel to it, and Lana's misadventures make for chaos in this madcap tale of betting on the right horse!
  • You know if this were a serious film, Lana Turner would have hustled off Dean Martin to Gamblers Anonymous and that would be the end of it. But movie comedy demands a crazy scheme as a premise.

    In a scheme worthy of Lucy Ricardo, Lana decides to take over Dino's action. She enlists his lecherous law partner Eddie Albert in on it. Albert pretends that he's got a new bookie who's the best in town. Martin goes for it.

    Of course the idea is based on the fact that Dino will lose, but the money will then stay in the family. Instead Dino gets on a hot streak causing all kinds of unforeseen complications.

    Who's Got the Action has a cast full of familiar faces doing what they do best. I suppose tops in the supporting cast is Walter Matthau, playing big time bookie who's wondering who's the new competition in town stealing the action from a mounting list of his heaviest bettors.

    Not the best that either lead has ever done, but still fine entertainment.
  • Listless little comedy which drags on and on for an hour and a half.Lana Turner,one of the queens of melodrama -"The bad and the beautiful","Madame X","Peyton Place",the sublime "imitation of life"- or film noir ("the postman always rings twice") has not the great comical presence the part asks for.Walter Matthau steals the show:ahead of his time,his character uses a big computer;although a dirty man,he lectures his subordinate about his poor old mother,whom he must support even at his own expense.

    A distant relative of "the sting" .People who are allergic to bets,bookies and stuff like that ,take to your heels.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There are some genuine laughs in this comedy that first appears to be another Doris Day/Rock Hudson type sex comedy but ends up being anything but. Notice I say "some" laughs, not a lot. The non-sensical plot deals with a novelist wife (Lana Turner) of an attorney (Dean Martin) with an addiction to betting on horse races. She decides to teach her husband a lesson so she can win him away from his obsession, and for some odd reason (seemingly to put him on a loosing streak), becomes a bookie herself. This brings in involvement from the mob and two judges (Paul Ford and John McGiver) who are associates of Martin's. To get her scheme rolling, Turner utilizes the assistance of her husband's lecherous partner (Eddie Albert) and the sexy next door neighbor (Nita Talbot) who just happens to be the gangster's moll! He is played by none other than Walter Matthau in another one of his early mob roles, and if there is any indication that he was a reincarnation of 30's character actor Ned Sparks, this movie is it. Martin spends a lot of the film intoxicated (indicating another problem), while Turner seems to be out of sorts with this type of comedy, as if she was a last minute replacement for Kim Novak. It is the character performers who end up the most interesting, and they also include Jack Albertson and Ned Glass (Doc in "West Side Story"). Albert's real-life wife, Margo (looking a lot like Ethel Merman!), plays the nosy Latin maid, and overdoes her imitation of Lupe Velez. The film, new on DVD, features some beautiful Technicolor photography and an ironic twist at the end that makes the ridiculous plot line palatable. Talbot, a much underrated comic, steals every scene she is in, while Ford and MacGiver are as always lovable buffoons.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    First off, the transfer by Olive Films. Well, it's decent, although I purchased the Blu-Ray version, and to me it looks more like a normal version. But, still, thanks Olive Films for some of the films you are putting out! This film was toward the end of Lana Turner's career, although she was only 41 years old...and she looks 41 years old. The only really good film she had left in her after this was "Madame X", 4 years hence. On the other hand, although Dean Martin was 45 years old, he was just approaching his golden years on television and recordings. Unfortunately, his recent success in pictures ("Rio Bravo", "Bells Are Ringing") was already making him just a tad lazy. But, he had lots of hit movie years left when he made this.

    Here, Dino has a bad gambling habit that is beginning to affect his marriage, although Lana initially suspects he is having an affair. When she learns about the gambling, she talks Dean's law partner (Eddie Albert) into helping her get involved in gambling -- as a pretend bookie -- in a convoluted plot to lead Dean to losing enough money to drive him away from gambling. Instead, he begins winning! Then the winning, by Dean and friends, gets out of hand and a syndicate mobster (Walter Matthau) attempts to find out who is getting the action (hence the title).

    There's nothing wrong with this movie that a better director or script wouldn't have fixed. It's okay. Very watchable, but not memorable. Why? Dean was Dean...that's why so many of us went to see Dean Martin movies. Lana Turner was still lovely, though middle-aged. That's okay, too. Eddie Albert was a little disappointing...far from some of his stellar supporting actor roles. Walter Matthau in his pre-stardom days was what Walter Matthau usually was at that point in time. Paul Ford and John McGiver did their job as judges well (were there any romantic comedies during this period that John McGiver wasn't in?). But, the script was missing some punch, and considering we're talking about horse racing and the mob, it certainly could have had some.

    Watch it once. Enjoy some good moments. And then move on.
  • I'm a big fan of Dean Martin - even after his split from Jerry Lewis. I really thought I was going to enjoy this movie, but was I disappointed… This is probably one of the most forgotten of Dean Martin's movies. It deserves to be, because it's so forgettable. Hardly anything sticks in the memory after having watched it. No funny lines, no hummable music or songs.

    This movie might have been saved by the great character actors who were in it. Walter Matthau, Eddie Albert, Nita Talbot, John McGiver, Paul Ford, Ned Glass – I love them all. Well, great they certainly were, but not in this movie.

    The problems were the asinine story/script, sore lack of humorous dialogue, totally unbelievable character types, lackluster direction.

    Just about the only praiseworthy thing about the movie was the excellent color photography.

    For anyone like me, who doesn't particularly like stories about betting on the horses (unless it's something by Damon Runyon), it will surely add up to one big yawn.