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The Nitwits (1935)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 7 June 1935 (USA)
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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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Robert Woolsey ...
Newton
Fred Keating ...
William Darrell
...
...
Alice Lake
Erik Rhodes ...
George Clark
Hale Hamilton ...
Winfield Lake
...
Police Captain Jennings (as Charles Wilson)
...
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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of 21 movies made by popular comedy duo Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey between 1929 and 1937, before Woolsey died in 1938. It is also the last minor feature directed by film luminary George Stevens before he broke through with Alice Adams (1935). 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

 
A Murder Mystery With Wheeler & Woolsey
1 April 2000 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

When the Black Widow murderer strikes at the boss of a music production business, THE NITWITS who run the cigar stand down in the lobby find themselves under investigation for homicide. Can the Boys find the real villain before he kills again?

A rather routine Wheeler & Woolsey comedy (Bert Wheeler is the one with the curly hair; Robert Woolsey has the cigar & spectacles) but the Boys are always fun to watch. Betty Grable is on hand this time as Wheeler’s love interest. Blustery Hale Hamilton is one of the Black Widow’s victims. Erik Rhodes has a small role as a suspect. Willie Best is on hand to add to the madcap finale. Film mavens will recognize Arthur Treacher as the man with the tennis equipment.

Wheeler & Grable sing “You Opened My Eyes” - Woolsey warbles “The Black Widow’s Gonna Get You If You Don’t Watch Out”. There is some racial stereotyping, not unusual in Hollywood films of this period.


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