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Don't Bet on Love (1933)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 1 July 1933 (USA)
Bill McCaffery, a plumber, wins big at the racetrack but then his luck runs out and almost ruins his business. Molly Gilbert, his manicurist girlfriend, stands by him and helps him readjust to life as a plumber.


Murray Roth


Howard Emmett Rogers (screenplay) (as Howard E. Rogers), Murray Roth (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Lew Ayres ... Bill McCaffery
Ginger Rogers ... Molly Gilbert
Charley Grapewin ... Pop McCaffery
Shirley Grey ... Goldie Williams
Tom Dugan ... Scotty
Merna Kennedy ... Ruby 'Babe' Norton
Lucile Gleason ... Mrs. Gilbert
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Edward Shelton


Bill McCaffery, a plumber, wins big at the racetrack but then his luck runs out and almost ruins his business. Molly Gilbert, his manicurist girlfriend, stands by him and helps him readjust to life as a plumber.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

plumber | racetrack | See All (2) »


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 July 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In the Money See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Bill McCaffery: [drunkenly] Well, the night didn't turn out to be such a bust after all, did it?
Goldie Williams: Much better than I expected!
Bill McCaffery: I think we better go home now. Come on, I'll take you up to the door.
Goldie Williams: Just to the door?
Bill McCaffery: [Bill and Goldie laugh] There you go again. Fresh again.
See more »

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User Reviews

Lew Ayres as a punting profligate plumber...
14 July 2019 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

... talk about playing against type! Of course this was before he was known for his roles as sympathetic physicians, but still it is a bit of a shock seeing Ayres play what is basically a very deplorable person.

The film tries to soft peddle it with an opening montage of stockbrokers selling bad stocks, bankers saying their banks are on solid ground, a man pretending to be blind and begging, and a common purse snatcher, I guess, the lesson being, that everybody has a racket and is on the take, but it didn't soften the blow for me.

Ayres plays Bill McCaffery, the son in McCaffery and Sons Plumbing. His dad tries to warn him against continuing to play the horses, and his best girl (Ginger Rogers as Molly) says she won't marry him until he stops playing the horses, yet he continues on. First he turns five dollars into 250 dollars, then he turns fifty dollars into 1500. When Molly says she is done with him because of his gambling, Bill takes the train to Saratoga and turns what was to be their honeymoon into a month long horse betting jag. He returns to New York with fifty thousand dollars after making all of the columns in the papers. 50K would be roughly a million dollars in today's money.

Dad and Molly stand their ground. And the law of gravity says what goes up must come down, but Bill is unswayed and thinks his luck will run forever, and complications ensue.

The film has some funny anecdotes that don't make you think any better of your fellow man. One involves a gold digger and the other involves Bill pulling a ruse that could land him in the penitentiary or even in the grave when he crosses a gangster.

I guess the funniest part (unintentional I am sure) of the film is when Bill is at a nightspot in Saratoga and out comes the floor show. They are actually rather pudgy girls in two piece outfits with stripes that make them look like convicts. Their dance routine is basically sitting down, crossing and uncrossing their legs, and then standing up again. Rinse and repeat. Talk about your all talking all singing all dancing convicts! Busby Berkeley this is not!

Lew Ayres and Ginger Rogers, who were married for six years, met making this film. It was probably a bad omen that, although in love and engaged, they spend most of the film feuding and apart.

I'd mildly recommend this, because it is a rare case of an existing Universal that is a straight precode in the Warner Brothers tradition. If you are a film history buff I would definitely recommend it.

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