Dean Martin and Lana Turner headline this story about a man with a gambling addiction (Martin) and his wife (Turner) who does what she can to make sure her husband doesn't lose all of their money. The setup is quite a stretch. Turner has Martin's law partner (Eddie Albert) lead Martin to believe that Albert has found the best bookie in town, that bookie, being Martin's wife. The idea is if Martin loses then the money will stay in the household, but unfortunately, Martin goes on a winning streak, forcing Turner to sell their possessions to cover the winnings. Meanwhile, a real bookie in town (Walter Matthau ) is wondering who it is that is getting all the action?
Despite the tagline claiming to be "the most riotous bedtime story ever!" Who's Got the Action? (1962), really isn't that riotous at all. Even at an hour and a half the movie feels long. Most of the gags just are not that funny and the plot struggles to unfold. I think a more appropriate tagline would be "a mildly amusing bedtime story,"because the film does have some merits.
My favorite part of Who's Got the Action? is seeing Matthau in one of his early film roles. He's the most fun to watch and steals every scene he is in. I also liked the 1960s set designs, particularly the interior of the apartment where Martin and Turner live.
The apartment building where Martin and Turner live is the Talmadge apartments located at 3278 Wilshire Boulevard. This building was built by Joseph M. Schenck in 1922 for his wife, the silent screen actress, Norma Talmadge.
The Talmadge apartments as seen in the film.
The Talmadge building as it appears today.
The screenshot below shows Martin and Turner leaving the Talmadge apartments and driving down Wilshire Boulevard. They're in the red car, passing Immanuel Presbyterian Church.
Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Blvd
Immanuel Presbyterian Church as it appears now.
Below is a side view of Immanuel Presbyterian Church looking across South Berendo Street from the Talmadge apartment building.
Martin about to enter the Talmadge building. Immanuel
Presbyterian Church is in the background.
Side view of the church looking across S. Berendo St.
Each day Turner walks to the newsstand outside of the Thrifty drug store to read the paper and see the results of the horse races. The Thrifty drug store was located at 3333 Wilshire Boulevard, just a couple blocks down from the Talmadge apartment building. The Thrifty drug store is gone and now a modern office building, completed in 1983, stands in its place.
Turner visits the Thrifty Drug Store at
3333 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles
A glass and steel skyscraper now stands at
3333 Wilshire Boulevard.
Turner fainted when she saw the results of the races. Eddie Albert helps Turner back to her apartment. In the screenshot below we can see the Talmadage apartment building a couple blocks up in the background. The building in the foreground is a bank and that building is still being used as a bank today.
Eddie Albert helps Turner back to the Talmadge apartment.
Looking up Wilshire at the corner of S. Catalina Street.
A year later, in 1963, Dean Martin made another "bedtime story" comedy called Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? That film isn't a knee jerker either, but it is closer to the "riotous" tagline that this film claims. You can see some of the film locations from Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? here.
Who's Got the Action? is currently available as a Watch Instantly title on Netflix and will be released on DVD on March 27, 2012.