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The Nitwits
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Synopsis for
The Nitwits (1935) More at IMDbPro »

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Johnnie (Bert Wheeler) is a would-be songwriter; Newton (Robert Woolsey) 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 who also owns the building. Lake's secretary, Mary (Betty Grable), 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 (Willie Best), 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.

And it does. When Newton accidentally zaps William Darrell (Fred Keating), the private detective, with it, he declares that he is the Black Widow. But Newton thinks the machine is malfunctioning and dismisses the confession. Only later does Darrell end up in custody, after a wacky chase through the office building at night.

All ends happily for Johnnie and Mary, even after she gets zapped with the truth machine herself and reveals that she'd like to have ten children.

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