Double Dynamite (1951)

Groucho Marx and Russell in Double Dynamite (1951)

Sinatra and Russell Miss the Marx

They were young and in love but for Johnny Dalton (Frank Sinatra - On the Town) and his girl Mibs (Jane Russell - The Outlaw) working at the bank doesn't pay enough and their boss won't give Johnny a raise. After having a row at their favourite diner thanks to some mischief making by waiter Emile (Groucho Marx - Room Service) Mibs walks out and when Johnny leaves he ends up saving a mysterious man from being beaten up in a back alley. The man turns out to be a bookie who not only gives Johnny a grand but encourages him to bet which by the end of the day is a tidy little sum. Unfortunately that tidy little sum whilst enough to pay for a wedding is the same amount which is missing from the bank and they have investigators tailing Johnny as he starts splashing the cash.

"Double Dynamite" is a fun light weight comedy with a huge problem 2 out of 3 or the main actors are the wrong actors. When you have two actors the calibre of Frank Sinatra and Jane Russell you want them to play snappy, larger than life characters and in the case of Russell sexy characters but in "Double Dynamite" they play timid characters and it is simply wrong. It is a shame as the writing is good and with Groucho Marx making up the lead characters it is still a lot of fun but when it is all over you just wish they had chosen better suited actors for the lead roles.

Frank Sinatra in Double Dynamite (1951)

If you don't believe what I am saying then watch "Double Dynamite" but with the exception of a shower scene Jane Russell spends the entire movie hidden behind some prim clothes and acting over cutesy instead of being sexy and powerful. And Frank Sinatra plays it just as cute as a naive young man rather than a sharp hustler which he was best at. Don't get me wrong as the dialogue they get to work with is good and "Double Dynamite" is full of great gags, in fact the writing is good full stop but man this could have been so much better. But it has to be said that there is a wonderful musical scene as Johnny and Mibs sing to each other through their thin apartment walls and not only is it a great musical scene but Sinatra and Russell sell it perfectly

In the end it is Groucho Marx who steals this movie because he fires of the sharp one liners in his inimitable style which makes everyone a gem. Unfortunately Marx is let down because that is all his character does, the comedy sidekick to Frank's character.

What this all boils down to is that "Double Dynamite" is a fun light weight comedy but one which despite good writing and a scene stealing performance from Groucho Marx could have been better if they had got better suited actors for the main roles.