Jack Benny is preparing his New Year's Eve radio broadcast but takes time out to take his valet Rochester to meet his girlfriend Josephine arriving on a steamer. Fred Allen and his sister ... See full summary »

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Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Jack Benny (as himself) tries to make good his fictitious boasts about roughing it in Nevada, in a spoof of Western cliches.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Jack Benny, Ellen Drew, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1890, two students at Oxford force their rascally friend and fellow student to pose as an aunt from Brazil--where the nuts come from.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Jack Benny, Kay Francis, James Ellison
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The ringmaster of a flea circus inherits a fortune...if he can find which chair it's hidden in.

Director: Richard Wallace
Stars: Fred Allen, Jack Benny, Don Ameche
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Compassionate small-town lawyer Richard Clarke moves to New York City to seek his fortune, but is unsuccessful until he takes a friend's advice and tries to convince the world he's a ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lanfield
Stars: Jack Benny, Priscilla Lane, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Producer Bob Temple, who's brought an American show to London, loves his star Diana, but she won't take him seriously as a lover. To show her, he picks up stranger Lady Arlington, whose ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Jack Benny, Dorothy Lamour, Edward Arnold
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Bill and Connie Fuller are forced to move out of their Manhattan apartment because of their pet dog, Connie persuades Bill to buy a dilapidated old Pennsylvania house that George Washington allegedly slept in.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Jack Benny, Ann Sheridan, Charles Coburn
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two soldiers on sick leave spend three nights at the Hollywood Canteen before going back to active duty. With a little friendly help from John Garfield, Slim gets to kiss Joan Leslie, whom ... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Bette Davis, John Garfield, The Andrews Sisters
Certificate: Passed Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Mary Allen
Verree Teasdale ...
Barbara Allen
...
Rochester Van Jones (as Eddie Anderson)
Virginia Dale ...
Virginia Astor
Theresa Harris ...
Josephine
Richard Denning ...
Joe
...
Policeman
Barnett Parker ...
George - Fred's Chauffeur
Russell Hicks ...
Mr. Harrington
Mary Kelley ...
Chambermaid
Chester Clute ...
Judge
Judd McMichael ...
Merry Mac
Ted McMichael ...
Merry Mac
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Storyline

Jack Benny is preparing his New Year's Eve radio broadcast but takes time out to take his valet Rochester to meet his girlfriend Josephine arriving on a steamer. Fred Allen and his sister Barbara are also en route to the dock to meet Barbara's daughter Mary, returning from a personal appearance tour in South America. Josephine is her maid. Their cars get involved in an accident and, in a bumping contest, Fred reduces Jack's old Maxwell to junk, and is taken to jail. Mary loses her dress in an accident and Jack offers to get her another one, but winds up being arrested for stealing. Barbara tells Mary that Fred is a nervous wreck because of Jack's continual slander of him on Jack's radio program. Jack hires the Merry Macs away from Fred and Fred decides to go to Miami for a rest. Jack decides to open his radio program from Miami. They meet, have another brawl, and end up in jail again. The two are in a motorboat accident where both are knocked unconscious and Mary, in an effort to end ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

title based on the bible | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ama o Teu Vizinho  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal (September 8, 1940), dozens of costumes from major Paramount films were brought out of storage for use in the black-cast costume ball sequence. Items included Maurice Chevalier's uniform from The Smiling Lieutenant (1931), Rudolph Valentino's burnoose from The Sheik (1921), a beaded gown worn by Gloria Swanson in Male and Female (1919), Gary Cooper's uniform from Morocco (1930), and costumes that had been worn by Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Bebe Daniels, Mary Miles Minter, Pola Negri, Charles Ray, Adolphe Menjou and others. See more »

Quotes

Fred Allen: Where do you get this Florida air? From California?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fashion Horizons (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Do You Know Why
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
See more »

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User Reviews

 
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15 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jack Benny and Fred Allen, in their respective popular and long-running shows in the golden age of radio, carried on probably the most famous and well-loved comedy mock-feud in history. The battle, carried on in snide remarks and guest appearances on the two series, was at its height around 1940, and "Love Thy Neighbor" capitalized by extending it to the movie screen.

The result is a slightly strange-feeling but enjoyable musical that seems torn between being an extension of the Benny and Allen radio series and being a standard-issue Hollywood musical. The two leads carry over their characters, but in spots seem to be playing toned-down versions of them. Jack Benny is still the butt of countless jokes for his vanity and cheapness, but he also, uncharacteristically, is the romantic lead who get the girl.

The girl, incidentally, is called Mary, and Jack's saying of that name reminds us that while this sometimes may seem like "The Jack Benny Program" with pictures (and a decade before it appeared on television), we do miss Mary Livingston, Don Wilson, Dennis Day, Phil Harris, and the other regulars. The one who is here is Rochester, who gets a very substantial subplot to himself. Eddie Anderson runs with this and proves if proof were needed that's he's an enchanting performer. His song-and-dance number is a delight, and he actually gets more introspection and character than Jack and Fred do. His subplot does wrap him up in gambling, womanizing, and partying, though -- aspects of his radio character that were phased out after World War II for being too stereotypical and which don't play too well today. It also involves him losing a lot of money at dice to his girlfriend; they have an odd relationship.

the movie is at its best and funniest when Jack and Rochester get to play off each other -- or when he and Fred Allen simply go at each other (the scenes with the car at the beginning, or backstage of Jack's show). These are very wittily written and it's great fun to watch the chemistry between the two. However, it must be admitted that without the Benny-Allen feud element, there would not be much to this movie besides an old hidden-identity plot and a few songs.

It's a little unbelievable for Jack Benny to be falling for Fred Allen's niece, but the niece is very engagingly played by Mary Martin. As a musical, though, this suffers from the fact that the soundtrack seems to be pushing one not-to-special song, "Isn't That Just Like Love," a little too hard to be a hit.

There are some off moments of humor here as well. Fred Allen absurd and witty barbs are just as funny as ever (I would be surprised if he did not contribute heavily to his part of the script), but he also seems to be a trigger-happy madman. He shoots the neon sign for Jack's upcoming show through out through his bedroom window (helps him get to sleep). Then later he seems to get on a motorboat and chase Jack's boat around while firing a gun and trying to shoot him dead. All this is played off breezily and they then briefly even make up, but having Fred try to kill Jack in cold blood seems a little over the top. We also have him taking about 60 sleeping pills in an attempt to alleviate the insomnia Jack has given him. He survives, and I suppose the filmmakers missed the suicidal implications.

Sometimes-out-of-character schizophrenia, this film is great fun for fans of Jack Benny and/or Fred Allen -- and it's essentially fun because of them and Rochester. When this film is fun, it is a triumph over the material, which veers from glorious film meeting of two of the funniest radio series ever, to mediocre standard musical.


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