Hellzapoppin' (1941)

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Olsen and Johnson, a pair of stage comedians, try to turn their play into a movie and bring together a young couple in love, while breaking the fourth wall every step of the way.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ole Olsen ...
Chic Johnson ...
Betty Johnson
Jane Frazee ...
Kitty Rand
Robert Paige ...
Jeff Hunter
Richard Lane ...
Lewis Howard ...
Woody Taylor
Clarence Kolb ...
Andrew Rand
Mrs. Rand
Harry Selby
Frank Darien ...
Man calling for Mrs. Jones
Catherine Johnson ...
Lena, Lady looking for Oscar


Ole and Chick are making a movie, but the director is not satisfied. So he brings them to a young writer, who outlines them an absurd story. They have to support Jeff and Kitty in setting up a musical revue in their garden and want to bring it up on Broadway. If Jeff is successful he can marry Kitty. But there is his rich friend Woody, who also loves Kitty, Chick's sister Betty, who's in love with a false Russian count, and detective Quimby. They all make the thing very complicated for Ole and Chick. After some mistakes they think that Kitty isn't the right girl for Jeff and they start sabotaging the show, but the Broadway producer is impressed and signs the contract. That's the story the writer tells them. For this he's sued by the director. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Best dance scenes and wildest cinematic tricks for its time! See more »


Comedy | Musical


See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 December 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De studio draait zot  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dan Rowan and Dick Martin cited this movie as the main inspiration for the style of their comedy show, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1967). See more »


Betty picks up a rifle with a bayonet attached, but in the next shot it's a double-barreled shotgun. See more »


Man calling for Mrs. Jones: [Calling out loud] Mrs Jones! Mrs Jones!
Ole Olsen: [Firmly] Look, here, my friend, we are making a motion picure here.
Man calling for Mrs. Jones: That's a matter of opinion...
Man calling for Mrs. Jones: Mrs Jones!
See more »

Crazy Credits

"......any similarity between HELLZAPOPPIN' and a motion picture is purely coincidental." See more »


Referenced in The Lady Is Willing (1942) See more »


Watch The Birdie
Lyrics by Don Raye
Music by Gene de Paul
Performed and sung by Martha Raye and The Six Hits (uncredited) with orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

8 August 2003 | by (Midwest) – See all my reviews

I've wanted to see this movie for a long time, after reading about it in a book on "movie comedy teams."

I finally got the chance after purchasing it on eBay in vhs format. All I can say is...It was worth the wait!

Jokes, mayhem and madness run rampant throughout this movie! It's like an old version of AIRPLANE! It almost seems like an abridged version of a Marx Brothers movie. Even when the "love story" slows things down...jokes "pop up" when you least expect them.

I'm really surprised that nobody has mentioned the scene where Olsen, Johnson and the Director of the film are sitting down (with the backs of their heads to us) watching a film on a small screen and commenting on it. This scene screamed, "MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000!"

If you get the chance to see this, do! And then watch it again to catch all of the jokes you missed the first time.

33 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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