5.8/10
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Double Talk (1937)

Approved | | Short, Comedy | 26 June 1937 (USA)
The wealthy Mrs. Virginia Delaware is at the Bergen Orphanage to choose a child to adopt. Dr. Bergen wants Mrs. Delaware to choose the troublesome Charlie McCarthy if only to get rid of him... See full summary »

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Dr. Bergen
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Mrs. Virginia Delaware
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Georgia Maryland (as Virginia Reed)
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Storyline

The wealthy Mrs. Virginia Delaware is at the Bergen Orphanage to choose a child to adopt. Dr. Bergen wants Mrs. Delaware to choose the troublesome Charlie McCarthy if only to get rid of him. Charlie on the other hand, doesn't want Mrs. Delaware to adopt him. The more Charlie tries to make a bad impression, the more the hard of hearing Mrs. Delaware, who mishears everything Charlies says, likes Charlie. But Charlie doesn't know what he may be missing if Mrs. Delaware doesn't adopt him. Written by Huggo

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Short | Comedy

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Approved
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26 June 1937 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Vitaphone production reel #1991. See more »

Soundtracks

By a Waterfall
(uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Irving Kahal
Sung by Edgar Bergen
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User Reviews

 
Static But Delightful Bergen and McCarthy Vehicle
18 March 2002 | by (Murray Hill, NJ) – See all my reviews

Before Edgar Bergen and his dummy Charlie McCarthy became radio stars, they starred in a series of short subjects for Warner Brothers. A total of fourteen were released between 1930 and 1937, the year Bergen and McCarthy's long running radio show debuted. DOUBLE TALK was one of the last shorts.

In this film, Bergen is head of an orphanage and Charlie is one of his charges. A dotty old matron wants to adopt McCarthy but the dummy prefers a lovely young southern belle. In order to discourage the older woman from adopting him, Charlie claims he is horribly sick. His scheme succeeds, but not in the way he desires.

In order to project the illusion of Charlie McCarthy as a real person, DOUBLE TALK not only gives him a voice, but often visually depicts him away from Bergen's lap: wading in a bathtub and sitting on a sofa. But since McCarthy is an inanimate figure, the film has very little slapstick. Most of the time, McCarthy engages in verbal humor with Bergen and other foils. The paucity of action and movement renders the film stagebound.

The short's cinematic shortcomings are compensated, however, by Bergen's effervescent performance as Charlie McCarthy. He presents McCarthy as an utter scamp, constantly insulting Bergen and others and shamelessly flirting with the southern belle. Yet one never resents him because there's a boyish good humor in his misbehaving. Indeed, his irreverence is so endearing, one actually dreads the thought of Charlie behaving himself. If he did, he would be dull. Bergen also acquits himself admirably as McCarthy's straight man, a stern but benevolent father figure. One can overlook Bergen's amateurish ventriloquism because he sincerely believes his dummy is alive, making the audience believe that Charlie McCarthy is alive. No wonder the public accepted McCarthy as a bona fide star.


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