Cast & Crew
Greeting card writer Erwin Trowbridge lives with his wife Audrey in the cookie-cutter sub-development of his brother-in-law, Clarence Dobbins. Erwin is dominated by Audrey, Clarence and his employer, Mr. Carver. His only escape is picking winning race horses for fun, never for money. After a quarrel with Clarence, Erwin uncharacteristically gets drunk. While sitting in a bar, he overhears three gamblers, Patsy, Frankie and Charlie, trying to pick a horse for the next race and offers a suggestion. At first, they ignore Erwin, but when his horses repeatedly win, they change their minds. Erwin's cut of their winnings is more than he makes in a week. When Erwin passes out, the gamblers decide to keep him overnight at the upstairs hotel. Even drunk, Erwin's sense of duty keeps him writing Mother's Day verses. After reading them, Patsy decides that Erwin is an unappreciated genius and calls Carver on Erwin's behalf. Carver promptly fires Erwin, who now is unable to pick horses because he is worried about his job and Audrey, and because his luck only works when he is riding the bus. Mabel, Patsy's girl friend, and Frankie take Erwin to the bus and ride home with him. The trick works and Erwin phones Patsy with the winners. For various reasons, the gamblers feel insecure about Erwin's choice in the sixth race, so they force him to place a bet himself, even though he believes that his luck will disappear if he bets. When his choice does finally win, Erwin discovers his manhood. He punches Patsy for his insensitivity and when Clarence arrives at the hotel, punches him, too. Carver gives him a raise and his own office, and Audrey is glad to have him home. Happy at last, Erwin's horse-picking days are over because of the bet he placed in the sixth race.
John M. Sullivan
The original play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 30 January 1935 and closed on 9 January 1937 after 835 performances. Teddy Hart and Sam Levene originated their movie roles in the play, and the cast also included Shirley Booth as Mabel, and Millard Mitchell as Charlie. The popular play had Broadway revivals in 1942, 1970 and 1993.
A considerable number of cast members listed in studio records (with their character names) did not appear in the final print: Margaret Irving (Gloria Gray), George Chandler (Al), Cliff Saum (Bus Conductor), Harry Hayden (Man on Bus), Edith Craig (Woman Bettor), Irene Coleman (Woman Bettor), John Sheehan (Man Bettor) and Pat West (Man Bettor).
Sam Levene and Teddy Hart reprised their Broadway roles for the film, and according to Time, the film sets were replicas of the stage sets.