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The Cuckoos (1930)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical | 4 May 1930 (USA)
Two phony fortune tellers get mixed up with gypsies.



(book), (book) | 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Robert Woolsey ...
Professor Cunningham
Fannie Furst
Hugh Trevor ...
Billy Shannon
Ruth Chester
Baron de Camp
Marguerita Padula ...
Gypsy Queen
Mitchell Lewis ...
Raymond Maurel ...
Gypsy Singer


Fake fortune teller Professor Bird and his assistant Sparrow are in a Mexican resort near a gambling casino. Sparrow has fallen for Anita, an American girl who has lived with gypsies since she was four. But the gypsy leader Julius also wants her, and is willing to get her at any cost. Also at the casino are Miss Furst and her niece Ruth, who loves aviator Billy, but Miss Furst wants her to marry the Baron. But the Baron is only after Ruth's money. Miss Furst is very interested in contacting her late husband and hires Bird, especially after he helped her getting back her purse that was stolen by Julius. The Baron teams up with the Gypsies, after he noticed that Ruth and Billy are secretly engaged and has her kidnapped. Anita, who followed Sparrow is also taken back to Mexico. Billy, Bird and Sparrow start of to Mexico on their separate ways to free their girls, but it's not so easy, especially when staying at a hotel with some strange other guests and very careful gypsy guards. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gypsy | fortune teller | See All (2) »


Comedy | Musical






Release Date:

4 May 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Radio Revels  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)


| (2-strip Technicolor) (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


Fans of this film have wondered as to the identity of the two women who are dining at the casino early in the film. They enjoy a lengthy sequence when Wheeler & Woolsey sit at their table and flirt with them as the two women feed them straight-lines so Wheeler & Woolsey can give the comedic rejoinder. The girl playing straight for Bert Wheeler is Audree Henderson. (Though the trade papers of the day would occasionally misspell her first name as Audrey.) She was a contract player at R.K.O. at the time The Cuckoos was filmed. Audree later became the fourth wife of film director A. Edward Sutherland from 8 January 1933, until they were divorced on 11 December 1935. The actress playing straight for Robert Woolsey is Betty Recklaw. She appeared in small roles in a number of films made for different studios during the late twenties and early thirties. See more »


Flapper: You're Americans, aren't you?
Professor Cunningham: Yes, yes, but we can't lend you any money.
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Referenced in The Lady Consents (1936) See more »


(1926) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Ruby
Lyrics by Bert Kalmar
Performed by Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey and Jobyna Howland with chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Aged Wheeler & Woolsey Musical
2 February 2000 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A kidnapped heiress & a daring pilot. A wicked baron & an evil gypsy king. A wealthy matron & a cute young Romany. Not to mention a couple of fake psychics who are as crazy as THE CUCKOOS in any clock.

This ancient musical was Wheeler & Woolsey's 2nd film (Bert Wheeler is the little curly-haired guy; Robert Woolsey is the skinny bespectacled one). The Boys are always fun to watch, and they've got some good songs, but when they're off screen the film groans badly. However, it must be said that the massive Jobyna Howland is a great Dumont-esque foil for them & more than holds her own.

The Boys' frequent kewpie-doll co-star, Dorothy Lee, is on hand

  • and in Wheeler's arms. Ivan Lebedeff is OK as the villain.

The romance between June Clyde & Hugh Trevor is dull stuff.

Three early Technicolor scenes are included and they are easy on the eyes. Some of the musical numbers seem to exist solely for the purpose of exhibiting the RKO chorus girls in various stages of undress.

Wondering what a band of Eastern European gypsies are doing in Northern Mexico? In films like this you don't ask questions like that...

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