Plot: “Odds” Owen (Warren William) is a bookmaker and while he has found great success in the gambling world, he tires of being seen as less than reputable, not to mention the often shady customer base involved. He is inspired by Lloyd’s of London, who he sees as fellow bookmakers, but their business is legitimate, since it is considered insurance. This drives him to switch fields and move into insurance, where his skills at making odds can still pay off, but he can avoid the undesirable side effects of taking bets from the track. His new business soon thrives, as Owen takes on all kinds of strange insurance policies, but the latest one is a real gem, as a man wants to insure that his daughter remains single. As the woman is beautiful and already engaged, this proves to be a tough call, but when Owen takes the policy will his odds be right or has he doomed his new enterprise already?
Entertainment Value: This Warren William vehicle is light and has a fun cast, perhaps not overly memorable, but a worthwhile watch. The narrative has a good premise, even if it wanders off that concept often and with a wealth of characters around, things can be a little muddled. This is especially true in this case, as Don’t Bet on Blondes runs under an hour, so with such limited time involved, there does seem to be more going on than there needs to be. At the same time, I think it gives the movie a certain energy and kinetic presence, which works well at times. I also think the movie provides a good amount of charm and laughs, making use of every minute to deliver entertainment, which is about all we can ask. A film doesn’t need to be an all time classic to be worth a look and Don’t Bet on Blondes has a lot to offer, especially given how little time it asks in return. For fans of Warren William or brisk, old school comedies, I think this one is well worth a spin.
I always consider Warren William a welcome presence and in this case, he is able to be the central focus of Don’t Bet on Blondes. Not that he wasn’t afforded leading roles often, because he was, but it seems like William was frequently a powerful backup to the ladies, a position he thrived in. But here he is given the full spotlight and while I wouldn’t rate this with his best work, he turns in a capable performance and brings charm and charisma to the movie. His scenes with Guy Kibbee are nothing short of hilarious, with quick banter and great chemistry, easily some of Don’t Bet on Blondes’ highlight scenes, to be sure. Kibbee does steal the show at times, no simple task with William around, but his turn here is just always humorous to watch. If you’re here for Errol Flynn however, you might be a little let down. While he makes great use of his screen time, he has only a few minutes, so he’s not a prominent part of the picture. The cast also includes Walter Byron, William Gargan, and Claire Dodd.