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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
...
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.
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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

You Opened My Eyes
(1935)
Lyrics by L. Wolfe Gilbert
Music by Felix Bernard
Sung by Joey Ray (uncredited), Joan Andrews (uncredited) and an unidentified female trio
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User Reviews

what George Stevens did before his big pictures
14 January 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Nitwits puts Wheeler and Woolsey into a murder mystery and as you can imagine, they manage to cause havoc as usual. Betty Grable is on hand as Bert's love interest but she doesn't do much beyond one number they sing together early on. Most of the film is took up with daft murder and chase stuff, one or two set pieces working really well but the film isn't as snappy and fun as some of their earlier work.

The director, George Stevens, went on to direct the likes of A Place in the Sun and Woman of the Year, but this early effort shows what he was up to in the first 15 years of his long career.


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