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Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive, with funding from The Packard Humanities Institute.

Pot o' Gold (1941); Soundies

Pot o' Gold (1941)
March 20, 2011 - 7:00 pm
Mark Cantor, jazz film archivist.

After starring with Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story (1940) and with Hedy Lamarr in Come Live With Me (1941), Jimmy Stewart was loaned out to United Artists for this musical comedy with Paulette Goddard. Stewart actually sings for the second and last time in his career. According to one Stewart biographer, Jimmy hated this movie more than any other he made, possibly because of his lack of chemistry with the lead actress, but fans have embraced the film as a lot of fun, noting that Jimmy’s voice isn’t half bad. The film’s independent producer was James Roosevelt, the son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, his first and last effort. The film got mixed reviews, although George Marshal keeps the musical numbers and comedy moving in this pleasant diversion.

Stewart plays James Haskell, a music store clerk in his dad’s business who dreams of making it big playing his harmonica. He and Molly McCorckle, a girl from a local boarding house he falls in love with, conspire to get a small town band on the radio show, “Pot o’ Gold,” which in fact was a real NBC radio program, featuring the same Horace Heidt and His Musical Knights band of the movie. Let’s hear it for product tie-ins. The leads get strong support from Charles Winninger as Stewart’s curmudgeonly uncle who hates music.

The feature will be preceded by a selection of “Soundies” of the same vintage. Released by the Soundies Corp. of America, the soundies were short musical clips (much like MTV), distributed on 16mm. They featured numerous well known bands and singers, but were cheaply produced for a coin-operated “Panoram” film jukeboxes in the 1940s. With a grant from the Grammy Foundation, UCLA Film & Television Archive has preserved a selection of these unique films.

—Jan-Christopher Horak

Directed by George Marshall

Globe Productions, Inc./A George Marshall Production/United Artists Corp. Producer: James Roosevelt. Screenwriter: Walter De Leon. Cinematographer: Hal Mohr, Harry Jackson. With: James Stewart, Paulette Goddard, Charles Winninger, Mary Gordon, Art Carney. 35mm, b/w, 86 mins.

Restored from a 35mm nitrate composite fine grain master positive, multiple nitrate composite reissue prints, and a 16mm print.  Laboratory services by The Stanford Theatre Film Laboratory, Audio Mechanics, DJ Audio.  Special thanks to: David Shepard.


Preceded by:

Preservation funded by The Grammy Foundation and The Packard Humanities Institute


Jungle Jig (1941)

Directed by Josef Berne. Producer: Sam Coslow. With: Dorothy Dandridge and Cee Pee Johnson. 35 mm, b/w, approx. 3 min

Hot in the Groove (1942)

With: Erskine Hawkins and his jiving Sepia Scorchers. 35 mm, b/w, approx. 3 min.

Corrine, Corrina (1944)

Directed by Josef Berne. Producer: Ben Hersh. With: Spade Cooley and his Western Swing Gang featuring Tex Williams.35 mm, b/w, approx. 3 min.

Bar Babble (1942)

With: Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra.35 mm, b/w, approx. 3 min.

Call to Arms (1945)

Produced and directed by B. K. Blake. With: Cynda Glenn.35 mm, b/w, approx. 3 min.

Prisoner of Love (1946)

Directed by Leonard Anderson. Producer: William D. Alexander. With: Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra.35 mm, b/w, approx. 3 min.

Hilo Hattie (1941)

Directed by Josef Berne. Producer: Sam Coslow. With Princess Aloha with Andy Iona and His Orchestra.35 mm, b/w, approx. 3 min.

I Got it Bad and That Aint Good (1942)

Directed by Josef Berne. Producer: Sam Coslow. With: Duke Ellington and His Orchestra with Ivie Anderson.35 mm, b/w, approx. 3 min.

Li'l Liza Jane (1943)

With: Emerson’s Mountaineers.35 mm, b/w, approx. 3 min.

Hands (1943)

Produced by Army Pictorial Service Signal Corps. 35 mm, b/w, approx. 3 min.

Sioux City Sue (1946)

Directed by Dave Gould. Producer: Ben Hersh. With: Deuce Spriggins and his Band with Carolina Cotton and The Plainsman Trio. 35 mm, b/w, approx. 3 min.

Tillie (1945)

Produced and Directed by William Forest Crouch. With: Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five. 35 mm, b/w, approx. 3 min.

Sticks and Stones (1943)

With: Rita Rio. 35 mm, b/w, approx. 3 min.

Preserved from 16mm prints. Laboratory services by The Stanford Theatre Foundation, Triage Motion Picture Services, Audio Mechanics, DJ Audio.