40 Pounds of Trouble


40 Pounds of Trouble is a 1962 comedy film directed by Norman Jewison and starring Tony Curtis, Suzanne Pleshette, Larry Storch and Phil Silvers. It is a retelling of Damon Runyon's 1932 short story Little Miss Marker.[2]

40 Pounds of Trouble
40 Pounds of Trouble.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNorman Jewison
Written byMarion Hargrove
Based onLittle Miss Marker
by Damon Runyon
Produced byStan Margulies
StarringTony Curtis
Suzanne Pleshette
Larry Storch
CinematographyJoseph MacDonald
Edited byMarjorie Fowler
Music byMort Lindsey
Distributed byUniversal-International Pictures
Release date
31 December 1962 (US)
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,750,000 (US/ Canada)[1]

It marks Jewison's feature film directorial debut, after several years as a television director;[3] it also marks Stanley Margulies' feature film producer debut, after having been executive producer on the television series Tales of the Vikings for Brynaprod.[4][5] The film was shot on location at Disneyland and at Harrah's Club in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.[6][7] It was the first motion picture ever to receive permission from Walt Disney to film at the amusement park.[8][9][10] Producers Curtis and Stanley Margulies sent Disney a copy of the script and were surprised when the noted figure phoned them three days later to give his approval, with only a minor alteration to the script.[9] It was the only released film completed by Curtis and Margulies' film production company Curtis Enterprises, as the pair would form a new company, Reynard Productions, shortly afterwards.

40 Pounds of Trouble had a limited one-day-only New Years Eve screening at select theaters across the United States, on the night of December 31, 1962.[11][12] Theaters showed the film from one to three times that night in celebration of the oncoming new year.[13] The film had its official world premiere on January 18, 1963 at the Carib-Miami-Miracle Theaters in Miami, Florida,[14] and the next day at Harrah's Club's South Shore Room in Lake Tahoe, Nevada which Curtis and his wife Christine Kaufmann attended.[15][16] The film then opened to the rest of the United States during the last week of January and first week of February 1963. It was a success and the film was nominated for a Golden Laurel Award for Top Comedy and Curtis was nominated for a Golden Laurel Award for Top Male Comedy Performance.


A casino manager (played by Tony Curtis) and his club singer, Chris Lockwood (played by Suzanne Pleshette), find their hands full when they agree to take in a troublesome young girl named Penny Piper (played by Claire Wilcox), left behind in the casino by her gambling father. The little girl hinders the manager's plans to keep his gaming licence. Penny thinks that Steve needs to get married and settle down, so she starts trying to match make, trying to set him up with Chris. Steve is still reeling from his failed first marriage and is apprehensive about another trip to the altar. The movie's culmination involves a slapstick pursuit through Disneyland.[17][18][19][20]

Principal castEdit

Actor Role
Tony Curtis Steve McCluskey
Suzanne Pleshette Chris Lockwood
Larry Storch Floyd
Howard Morris Julius
Edward Andrews Herman
Stubby Kaye Cranston
Warren Stevens Swing
Kevin McCarthy Louie Blanchard
Phil Silvers Bernie "the Butcher" Friedman
Claire Wilcox Penelope "Penny" Piper
Jimmy MacDonald (sound effects artist) Witch Vocals in Snow White's Adventures

Critical receptionEdit

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times summed up the film:

40 Pounds of Trouble is witless remake of a Runyon Story... Blunt promotion, thin humor fill script... The trouble with 40 Pounds of Trouble is that it is just too hackneyed and dull.[2]

Wilcox has been especially praised in her scene in the courthouse.[21]


One of the first films to be shot at Disneyland.[22]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Top Rental Features of 1963", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 71. Please note figures are rentals as opposed to total gross.
  2. ^ a b Bosley Crowther (1963-01-24). "Screen: '40 Pounds of Trouble'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  3. ^ Yumpu.com. "boxoffice-february121962". yumpu.com. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  4. ^ "Messenger-Inquirer from Owensboro, Kentucky on February 3, 1963 · 23". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  5. ^ Motion Picture Daily (Jul-Sep 1959). MBRS Library of Congress. Quigley Publishing Company, inc. 1959.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ "40 Pounds of Trouble (1962) - IMDb".
  7. ^ Gettell, Oliver (May 23, 2015). "'Tomorrowland' and 5 more Disneyland movies to mark the park's 60th". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  8. ^ "The Evening Sun from Baltimore, Maryland on May 31, 1962 · 50". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2021-07-05.
  9. ^ a b "Valley Times from North Hollywood, California on May 14, 1962 · 6". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2021-07-05.
  10. ^ "Los Angeles Evening Citizen News from Hollywood, California on May 7, 1962 · 10". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2021-07-04.
  11. ^ "Argus-Leader from Sioux Falls, South Dakota on December 28, 1962 · Page 21". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  12. ^ "Deseret News from Salt Lake City, Utah on December 29, 1962 · 3". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  13. ^ "The Lima News from Lima, Ohio on December 20, 1962 · 23". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  14. ^ "The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida on January 18, 1963 · 82". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  15. ^ "The Miami News from Miami, Florida on January 19, 1963 · 9". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  16. ^ "Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut on January 20, 1963 · 28". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  17. ^ 40 Pounds of Trouble, 14 February 1963, retrieved 2019-12-17
  18. ^ 40 Pounds of Trouble (1963), retrieved 2019-12-17
  19. ^ "The Secret Story Behind 40 Pounds of Trouble Part One". www.mouseplanet.com. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  20. ^ Noble, Barnes &. "40 Pounds of Trouble". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  21. ^ 40 Pounds of Trouble (1962), retrieved 2019-12-17
  22. ^ 40 Pounds of Trouble (1962) - IMDb, retrieved 2022-02-01

External linksEdit