Blondie on a Budget (1940) starring Penny Singleton, Arthur Lake, Rita Hayworth
In Blondie on a Budget, Dagwood wants to join a trout club, but there’s no money in the budget. Blondie wants a new fur coat, but they can’t afford that either. Then Dagwood’s beautiful former girlfriend shows up …
Blondie on a Budget could almost have been titled Blondie Gets Jealous. She should know by this time that Dagwood’s completely devoted to her. But the “old girlfriend” is portrayed by Rita Hayworth, so her insecurity may be justified. But it really shouldn’t be.
It’s very much a “Gift of the Magi” story. Blondie’s willing to forgo her fur coat to buy Dagwood his membership in the trout club. And Dagwood uses the prize money, not for himself, but for Blondie’s new fur coat. Because they love each other, of course.
There’s a wonderful scene, where Blondie’s planning to go to Reno, and divorce Dagwood. A total stranger comes up to her — a divorce lawyer. But he intentionally lists all of the things that Dagwood hasn’t done wrong, to make Blondie realize what she’s giving up. And he puts the fire in her belly to go back and fight for her husband! There’s nobody to fight, but she doesn’t know that. It’s a wonderfully sweet scene.
- Melvin showing Baby Dumpling how easy it is to pull a tooth – with a string and doorknob. Only for Blondie to unknowingly open the door, and pull Melvin’s tooth!
- The friend, Marvin, who’s an excellent voice impersonator.
- Dagwood daydreaming his wife & children as being dark-haired …. Like Joan.
- The ongoing distrust/misunderstanding between Blondie and Dagwood … After Dagwood thinks all’s well!
- Blondie’s jealous imagination going into overdrive when she sees Joan modeling “her” new coat for Dagwood …. Not realizing that Dagwood’s buying it for Blondie, and Joan’s just helping with the surprise, since she’s the same size.
- When Blondie’s left a note saying that she’s going to Reno, Dagwood yells as poor Daisy …. since “you women are all alike!”
- Poor Daisy getting drunk on the champagne that Dagwood spilled on the kitchen floor.
- Dagwood, unable to sleep, makes a “dummy” out of pillows in Blondie’s bed. When Blondie comes home, she sees “Joan’s” fur coat in the closet, and thinks there’s another woman in her bed! But it all leads to a romantic reconciliation.
- Poor drunken Daisy, with an ice bag on her head.
- Poor Mr. Fuddle getting run over by Dagwood …. And losing a tooth!
Dagwood: Blondie will believe me.
Marvin Williams: I’m your best friend, and I don’t believe you.
Blondie: What you need to understand is …. We’re leaving Daddy.
Baby Dumpling: Again?
- Penny Singleton (Blondie’s Reward) … Blondie Bumstead. Her jealous nature gets the better of her, and is the catalyst for the trouble.
- Arthur Lake (Blondie Knows Best) … Dagwood Bumstead. The befuddled husband.
- Larry Simms (Blondie’s Holiday) … Baby Dumpling Bumstead. He loses a tooth.
- Daisy … Daisy, the family dog. Who gets yelled at by Dagwood for being female! And later, gets a hangover. Poor Daisy.
- Rita Hayworth (My Gal Sal) … Joan Forrester. Dagwood’s former girlfriend. Despite Blondie’s jealousy, she’s actually a kind, nice lady. Her attempts to help Dagwood result in him winning the $200 he needs for Blondie’s fur coat.
- Danny Mummert … Alvin Fuddle. Baby Dumpling’s friend, who tries to “help” pull a tooth.
- Don Beddoe … Marvin Williams. Dagwood’s friend, who does accurate voice impersonations. A friendly, helpful, likable character.
- John Qualen (I’ll Take Sweden) … Mr. Ed Fuddle. Alvin’s father, who returns home to find that Alvin’s tooth was “pulled” by the bumsteads. And in Dagwood’s rush out of the house, he gets knocked over …. And loses a tooth!
- Fay Helm (Night Monster) … Mrs. Fuddle. Alvin’s mother, and Blondie’s friend.
- Irving Bacon … Mailman. That poor mailman, who thinks he finally avoided getting run over by Dagwood at the end of the movie. He’s wrong.
- Thurston Hall (I Dood It) … Brice. The divorce lawyer, who gives Blondie the good advice, under the pretense of soliciting for a divorce, that leads her back to Dagwood. A very kind, sympathetic character.
- William Brisbane (Shall We Dance) … Theatre Manager. He calls Dagwood in the evening, to let him know that he’s won $200 in their prize drawing.
Editorial review of Blondie on a Budget courtesy of Amazon
In this fifth in the Blondie series, Dagwood wants to join the trout club and Blondie wants a fur coat. Jealousy reigns when Dag’s old girlfriend Joan shows up, but nothing else matters when a drawing at the movie theatre provides money for the coat.