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The Nitwits (1935)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Mystery  -  7 June 1935 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 214 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

A would-be songwriter and a would-be inventor run a cigar stand and get mixed up in the murder of a song publisher.

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(screen play), (screen play), 4 more credits »
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Title: The Nitwits (1935)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bert Wheeler ...
Robert Woolsey ...
Newton
Fred Keating ...
William Darrell
...
...
Alice Lake
Erik Rhodes ...
George Clark
Hale Hamilton ...
Winfield Lake
Charles C. Wilson ...
Police Captain Jennings (as Charles Wilson)
Arthur Aylesworth ...
Lurch
Willie Best ...
Sleepy
Lew Kelly ...
J. Gabriel Hazel
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Storyline

Johnnie is a would-be songwriter; Newton is a would-be inventor. Both work at a cigar stand in the lobby of an office building. Johnnie wants to sell a song to Winfield Lake, a song publisher and the owner of the building. Lake's secretary, Mary, is Johnnie's sweetheart. When Lake turns up dead, circumstances conspire to make Mary and Newton think that Johnnie is the killer. They conspire again to implicate Mary, who goes to jail. But who really shot Lake? Who is the Black Widow, the blackmailer who had threatened him? The other characters in this wacky murder mystery are: Lake's suspicious wife, a self-satisfied private detective, a seemingly slow-witted janitor, Lake's auditor, a songwriter who thinks Lake is stealing from him and another who thinks everyone is stealing from him. It's up to Newton and his truth machine to reveal the real killer. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 June 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La viuda negra  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie and eight others released in a DVD collection entitled "Wheeler & Woolsey: RKO Comedy Classics Collection in March 2013 by Warner Archive. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Male Singer: [singing] I'm not the same at all, / And I can blame it all; / I thought that love was a lark. / There's something strange in me, / The sudden change in me; / I walk around in the dark. / Suddenly I found a star. / You've opened my eyes. / You made me see the light, / The beauty of the night. / You've opened my eyes. / You taught me to see / The sunny side of things. / The heart within me sings. / You brought this to me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown on a player-piano music roll, which ends with the screen filling with black music notes. See more »

Connections

References High Gear (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Music in My Heart
(1935)
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Sung and Danced by Bert Wheeler (uncredited) and Betty Grable (uncredited)
Later reprized by Bert Wheeler (uncredited), Robert Woolsey (uncredited),
Betty Grable (uncredited), and the jail prisoners
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Murder and mirth is an uneven mix...
18 December 2007 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

For awhile it looks as though THE NITWITS will be fun along the lines of an Abbot and Costello comedy that mixes mirth with murder in the form of a who-dun-it, but by the time the murderer is revealed as the man behind The Black Widow killings, the story has limped to a madcap slapstick conclusion with an assortment of gags, some good, some tiresome.

Along the way there are a couple of innocuous songs, one of them sung by a very young BETTY GRABLE before stardom at Fox, which she duets with BERT WHEELER. She's the secretary of a murdered executive and for awhile she joins the list of suspects, although we know she's innocent. ERIC RHODES has little to do as a man with a good reason to be one of the suspects, but the plot mainly has to do with Wheeler and ROBERT WOOLSEY (who looks like Phil Silvers on diet pills), and their scatterbrained encounters with the policemen trying to solve the case.

George Stevens directs the whole thing at a fast clip, especially the climactic ten minute scene of frantic over-the-top slapstick that concludes the story.

Summing up: Just okay if you're a fan of Wheeler and Woolsey. It's the kind of slapstick farce the kiddies usually enjoy at a Saturday matinée.


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