It Grows on Trees (1952)

Article 1858 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-16-2006
Posting Date: 9-13-2006
Directed by Arthur Lubin
Featuring Irene Dunne, Dean Jagger, Joan Evans

When a dotty housewife buys a pair of unclassified trees to put in her backyard, she discovers they produce five and ten dollar bills. Her letter to the treasury department is treated as a gag by the Secretary of the Treasury, and she receives a letter telling her that the money is good. It is then discovered that the money falls apart after a short while, and complications ensue….

It seems that I’ve been having something of an Arthur Lubin film festival here lately; this, FRANCIS GOES TO WEST POINT and ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES are all directed by him. Of the three, I like this one the best, but that may be mostly because it doesn’t just feel like a rehash of a bunch of other movies I’ve seen, like the other two mentioned movies felt to me. It also helps that the movie has a little bit of satirical edge to it, largely due to the fact that several government officials get caught up in an unpleasant situation when their responses to what they believed were jokes backfire on them. Though she would make some TV appearances after this, this was Irene Dunne’s last motion picture; other genre movies that I’ve covered that feature her are A GUY NAMED JOE and THIRTEEN WOMEN . It’s basically a fantastically themed family sitcom-style movie, and it remains quite amusing throughout, if very silly. There are some interesting names in the cast; Dean Jagger would appear in both REVOLT OF THE ZOMBIES and X THE UNKNOWN ; this movie is about halfway between the quality of those two. A young Richard Crenna also appears, as does the always dependable Les Tremayne and child actor Sandy Descher, who would also pop up in THEM! and THE SPACE CHILDREN . One curious thing I noticed is that this movie actually refers to (at least tangentially) to the other two movies I mentioned above; at one point, mention is made of the children in the movie having gone to see one of those Francis the Talking Mule movies, and the final gag in the movie involves the delivery of a package which contains a famed item from the Arabian Nights.

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