|Directed by||Walter Lang|
|Produced by||Samuel G. Engel|
|Written by||Henry Ephron
|Music by||Lionel Newman|
|Edited by||J. Watson Webb Jr.|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release dates||November 1, 1950|
|Running time||85 minutes|
The screenplay was based on a John McNulty article, "The Jackpot" in The New Yorker (February 19, 1949), about the true experiences of James P. Caffrey of Wakefield, Rhode Island who won $24,000 worth of merchandise on August 28, 1948 from the CBS radio quiz program, Sing It Again.
The film is mostly forgotten today but was a successful vehicle for Stewart at the time. A radio adaptation, broadcast April 26, 1951 on NBC's Screen Directors Playhouse, received much press coverage because Stewart's co-star was Margaret Truman, making her debut as a radio actress for a fee of $2,500. She received mixed reviews and noted that her father "enjoyed it".
Characters and story
Bill Lawrence (Stewart), employed at a midwest department store, supports a wife (Hale) and two teenage kids (Wood, Tommy Rettig) on an annual salary of $4500. Answering a phone call, he wins $24,000 worth of merchandise from a radio quiz program and is overwhelmed by prizes which range from the useful to the absurd, including a side of beef, 7,500 cans of soup, 1,000 fruit trees, a Palomino pony, a portable swimming pool, a diamond ring, a French maid, an interior decorator (Alan Mowbray) and portrait painter Hilda Jones (Patricia Medina).
All is well until Lawrence is told he must sell the prizes in order to pay an income tax of $7000. When he tries to raise the money by selling the merchandise at the department store, his boss (Fred Clark) fires him. When he tries to fence the diamond ring in Chicago, he's arrested. Complicating matters, his wife suspects him of having an affair with Greenwich Village artist Hilda. Dealing with these problems, he gets help from reporter Harry Summers (James Gleason), who had been writing newspaper articles about Lawrence and his winnings. Bandleader Harry James made an uncredited appearance as a radio vocalist.
Scripters Henry and Phoebe Ephron were nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award.
- Crowther, Bosley. "The Life of Comedy", The New York Times, December 3, 1950.
- McNulty, John. The New Yorker, February 19, 1949.
- Lewiston Evening Journal, April 27, 1951.