5.3/10
75
3 user 2 critic

Sweepstakes Winner (1939)

Approved | | Comedy | 20 May 1939 (USA)
A naive girl has $1,000 and is told to have two broke bookies bet it for her. They lose the money and she gets a job as a waitress. They come into the cafe and convince her to buy an Irish Sweepstake ticket.

Director:

William C. McGann (as William McGann)

Writers:

John W. Krafft (screen play) (as John Krafft), Albert DeMond (screen play)
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Based on the story of the steeplechase-winning blind jumping horse, Elmer Gantry aka Gantry the Great, owned by Eleanor Getzendaner. The horse plays himself.

Director: William C. McGann
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marie Wilson ... Jennie Jones
Johnnie Davis ... Mark Downey
Allen Jenkins ... 'Tip' Bailey
Charley Foy ... 'Jinx' Donovan
Jerry Colonna ... Nick
Frankie Burke ... Chalky Williams
Vera Lewis ... Mrs. McCarthy
Granville Bates ... Pop Reynolds
Eddie Kane Eddie Kane ... Mr. Blake
Bert Hanlon Bert Hanlon ... Poolroom Guard
George Lloyd ... Dutch
Sidney Bracey ... Mr. Simpkins (as Sidney Bracy)
Charles Irwin Charles Irwin ... English Radio Announcer
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Storyline

Waitress Jennie Jones is a naive young woman from small town Athens, Nebraska. With $1,000 inheritance money from her grandfather, she has come to the big city happily to fulfill the terms of the inheritance: to buy a mare, specifically a retired race horse named Firefly. Much like Jennie's relationship to her grandfather, Firefly is a direct descendant, two generations ago, of a winning race horse Jennie's grandfather bred. Jennie's goal is to allow Firefly to live out the rest of her life in the grand style Jennie believes she deserves. To buy Firefly, Jennie, as per her grandfather's suggestion, enlists the help of two horse racing gamblers, "Tip" Bailey and "Jinx" Donovan. What Jennie is unaware of is that Tip and Jinx are broke shysters, who will willingly use Jennie and her inheritance to pay off their debts and pocket more than a little money for themselves. What Tip and Jinx try to pull on Jennie changes with her changing fortunes or potential fortunes. Further adding to the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

20 May 1939 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The fire engines seen going to the race track were from Los Angeles Fire Department Station 66, that was located at 1715 W. Florence Avenue from 1929 to 1989. That building still stands as of this writing. The new Station 66 is located at 1909 W. Slauson Blvd. and serves the Hyde Park - South LA - Vermont Harbor area. See more »

Goofs

When Jennie is chasing after Tip Bailey, about five minutes into the film, a moving shadow of the boom microphone is visible on the picket fence behind them. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fun at the Racetrack
3 April 2015 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Naive blonde waitress Marie Wilson (as Jennie Jones) arrives from small-town Athens, Nebraska, intending to buy a racehorse named "Firefly". The beloved nag is descended from a horse owned by her grandfather. Unfortunately, Ms. Wilson gets involved with two con men, smooth-talking Allen Jenkins (as "Tip" Bailey) and his well-suited partner Charley Foy (as "Jinx" Donovan). After she is fleeced, Wilson gets a waitressing job. She is hired after hinting she may be available for dating after hours, on Saturday nights, with romantically-inclined boss Johnnie Davis (as Mark Downe). Wilson's luck changes with a winning "Irish Sweepstakes" ticket. In a highlight, she makes her serving tray fly. Wilson is able to buy "Firefly", but sneaky Mr. Jenkins wants to take further advantage...

Jenkins hits all the marks, and likely adds some of his own, in this otherwise routine comedy. With his distinctive voice, the character actor was dependable, for decades, in this type of role. Wilson is cute and bubbly; at times, you wonder if Judy Garland borrowed some of her delivery. Mugging jockey Frankie Burke (as "Chalky" Williams) has a couple of good scenes and, as a concerned landlady, veteran Vera Lewis gets to share some of her acid-tongue. Among the extras, it's interesting to see John Harron get some lines and screen time. The brother of silent D.W. Griffith "silent" star Robert Harron, John is the fast-talking Narragansett racetrack announcer. Diner chef Jerry Colonna rolls his eyes. All told, director William McGann neatly corrals the second-string cast and crew at Warner Bros.

****** Sweepstakes Winner (5/20/39) William McGann ~ Marie Wilson, Allen Jenkins, Johnnie Davis, Charley Foy


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