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Thread: DOUBLE DYNAMITE - 1951 

  1. #1


    RKO Radio Pictures

    Original story by Leo Rosten
    Producer: Irving Cummings, Jr.
    Director: Irving Cummings
    Screenplay: Melville Shavelson
    Music: Leigh Harline

    Frank Sinatra: Johnny Dalton
    Jane Russell: Mildred Goodhug
    Grocho Marx: Emile J. Keck
    Nestor Paiva: Bookie

    Frank Sinatra sings "Kisses and Tears"

    (Notes transcribed from Nancy Sinatra's "Frank Sinatra: An American Legend")

  2. #2

    Thumbs up very funny film

    i truly enjoy this film and thought it display sinatra with a comic side that went well with his co-stars jane russell and grocho marx.
    a little known song "kisses and tears" was done by sinatra.
    thanks, joe....

  3. #3


    Had "FAS on TCM" on my October 9th calender for months, and really didn't rememberwhy. So today, after lunch, about 1:15, went into the guide on TCM and what was on but Groucho Marx (remember the movie was just about over) w/a police report "about a bad guy that looked like Frank Sinatra."

    My gosh, this couldn't be what I marked the calender for? So went into info and there it was:

    Jane Russel, Groucho Marx, Frank Sinatra and Nestor Paiva in "DOUBLE DYNAMITE!"

    Unfortunately, only had the opp to watch the last fifteen minutes, by our boy was kissing Jane like there was no tomorrow! Ummmmmmm...........It was delightful--- - - - - - -

    Just wish I could have seen the entire flick! Mr. S. was 36, this being filmed in 1951, (same year as "Meet Danny Wilson") B&W naturally. Just wish I could have heard him sing the "Kisses and Tears."

    Available anywhere, anyone? My afternoon was unusually hectic but what made it a little sweeter was seeing Francis in his youth, even for fifteen minutes!

  4. #4
    ***Just wish I could have seen the entire flick! Mr. S. was 36, this being filmed in 1951, (same year as "Meet Danny Wilson") B&W naturally. Just wish I could have heard him sing the "Kisses and Tears." ***

    Actually, Lux, the film is not from 1951 but had a rather complicated fate.

    The film was shot in November and December 1948, with some additional scenes being filmed in January 1949. The film was supposed to be entitled "It's Only Money" - that is also the title of one of the songs Sinatra sings in the film, as a duet with Groucho Marx. Sinatra recorded his duet with Jane Russell on "Kisses and Tears" in December 1948, and the tracks with Groucho Marx in January 1949.

    The film was completed by the end of January 1949, with Frank Sinatra being the first-billed main star on the credits, and Groucho Marx and Jane Russell second and third. It was unofficially previewed to a selected audience by RKO, under it's original title, "It's Only Money".

    However, the RKO producers were not satisfied with the final cut, and the film was withheld from release. Furthermore, new RKO boss and business tycoon Howard Hughes made no steps in doing anything with the film - so it remained shelved until late 1951, for almost three years!

    When it was finally released, Sinatra was just billed in the third place only, with Jane Russell and Groucho Marx now taking the lead in the credits, and in the promos as well, that carried the slogans "double delightful, double delicious, double delirious" - and the new film title now was "Double Dynamite". Check the ad below - no picture of Sinatra! Going to the cinemas in December 1951, it turned out to be a flop at the box offices.

    Some later copies re-arranged the order of stars again to give Sinatra the #1 position. The film was released on VHS by Turner Home Video in 1991 - I don't know if it is available on DVD yet.


  5. #5

    Question GREAT SCOTT. . .

    What a tangle web the motion picture business weaves when they practice to decieve!!!

    I simply took the date from my FAS Bible, Nancy's "American Legend." It is always so wonderful to have you here to add such interesting facts and little bits of info that add so much to a film. So actually Mr. S. was 33, not 36! He looked about 22!

    I, personally, never did cared for Groucho Marx, but Mr. S. was so adorable. I think if I ran across it in VHS for almost nothing, I might get it, just for the nostalgia of his early performances.

    How, my dear freund, do you FIND out all these facts? You're a regular walking "Mr. S. Encyglopedia of Knowledge!" If you're half as good at your "paying" day job, they'll never let you retire!

    Danke for the straightening of the dates. Hope you are well and have a safe and happy holiday!



  6. #6

    Double Dynamite

    Yesterday, I stumbled across the movie Double Dynamite. Turner Classic Movies was airing it between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. I was drawn to it because it featured two of my all time favorite people, Frank Sinatra and Groucho Marx. In researching it I've learned that this movie, although not a critically acclaimed comedy, was the last movie made by FAS before his Oscar winning role in "From Here To Eternity."

    I viewed the movie with the mindset that it was 1951 and Sinatra was in the turmoil of his relationship with Ava Gardner, his professional differences with Mitch Miller at Columbia, and the decline in his celebrity that we all now recognize, gratefully, as just the beginning of a spectacular new career.

    I enjoyed watching it and was especially tickled over a scene near the end of the film. Frank's character was engaged to Jane Russell's character, who thought he had robbed the bank at which he worked just to be able to marry her. She went to the son of the bank's owner to ask for mercy for the Sinatra character, but wound up enraging him. He called the police and she grabbed the Sinatra character and headed for the Mexican border. The police dispatcher "called out all cars" and gave this paraphrased discription:
    "Wanted: male, 5 foot 10 inches tall, 140 pounds, brown hair, blue eyes. Looks like Frank Sinatra."

    So, even in a movie made at perhaps one of his lowest career points where he's playing a totally different person, Frank was still a star whose identify was so well known that his name could describe a physical appearance.

  7. I have merged your new thread with the existing one Tom.

    Be Aware & Don't Despair

  8. #8
    This movie reminds me of that great American holiday, Thanksgiving, not for its warm feeling or that it's satisfying like a fine meal. It's just a big turkey....without a wishbone. If there'd been one, I'd have wished for some better material and better songs to take advantage of the talent here.

  9. #9

    Double Dynamite shows 48/49 Sinatra

    *** So, even in a movie made at perhaps one of his lowest career points where he's playing a totally different person, Frank was still a star whose identify was so well known that his name could describe a physical appearance. ****

    Rich, while "Double Dynamite" was premiered on the very same day that Sinatra married Ava (November 7, 1951), one has to bear in mind that it was filmed much earlier: Shooting took place between November 1948 and January 1949, actually. RKO subsequently shelved the finished picture for almost three years before finally releasing it.

    So, some of your deductions in a sense do not fit FS as seen on screen during that movie.

    In Daniel O'Brien's "Frank Sinatra Film Guide" (on pp. 51 sq.), you can find a detailed discussion of the reasons which led to that long delay. You can also check my earlier posting here in this (now merged) thread.


  10. #10

    Double Dynamite

    Not one of Frank's (or Jane's or Groucho's) finer film achievements. Double Dynamite was kind of a dud.


  11. #11

    "Double Dynamite"

    "Double Dynamite" will show on Turner Classic Movies tomorrow (Wednesday) at 9 AM. It stars Frank, Groucho Marx and Jane Russell. It is NOT their finest hour, but if you're a completist, you might want to take a look. It was made in 1948 and held back until 1951. Leonarad Maltin's "Movie Guide" writes, "flat comedy marks a career low point for all three of its stars."

    Of interest is that this is one of 13 movies in a row starting tomorrow at 7:30 AM on TCM featuring Groucho. Most of them are Marx Brothers movies.


  12. I agree, it isn'at their finest hour but it is a muct see for true FS fans and for true Marx Brothers fan.

    Groucho had a capible singing voice, but of course not nearly as good as Frank's but I have always Groucho one of the funniest men of the 20th Century.

  13. #13

    double dynamite

    Sure its a bit corny and certainly dated, but i have to admit i like the latter. As much as i enjoy seeing a young sinatra.

    one of the songs not mentioned so far in these posts is it's only money. i think its a great song...very funny lyric:

    i love the artwork, the treasury sure does smart work
    the nicest people we know, are the people who get their faces on dough.

    how can you not love a movie with two pros like frank and groucho?

    vinny b.

  14. #14
    May not have aged too well, but here's the trailer from TCM.

    Double Dynamite

    Worth it for that process tracking shot of Frank & Groucho
    sooner or later we all make the little flowers grow

  15. #15
    Another clip of the FS and Groucho duet from the film:

    "It's Only Money"

    The song may also be heard in the Frank Sinatra In Hollywood box set (disc 3 of 6).

  16. #16
    Always amazes me how handsome Frank was. He may have been considered "skinny" back then, but I can understand why the soldiers were jealous of him. All the girls back home went nuts over him... and with reason!

  17. < "It's Only Money" >

    This was the title song until they had to change the title to "Double Dynamite." Jerry Lewis's "It's Only Money" came out in 1962

  18. #18
    I never saw this before. It's really cute


    And there used to be a ballpark right here.

  19. I scanned this out of Groucho's book, The Groucho Phile.

  20. #20
    This film is on TCM tommorow at 6 am EST . My fave part of this film is when Frank and Jane sing "Kisses and tears"