7.6/10
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52 user 19 critic

Hellzapoppin' (1941)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Betty Johnson
...
Quimby
...
Kitty Rand
...
Jeff Hunter
...
Pepi
...
Director
Lewis Howard ...
Woody Taylor
...
Andrew Rand
...
Mrs. Rand
...
Louie
...
Harry Selby
Frank Darien ...
Man calling for Mrs. Jones
Catherine Johnson ...
Lena, Lady looking for Oscar
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

AT LAST IT'S ON THE SCREEN! Greater than the Stage Show! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 December 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De studio draait zot  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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

Quotes

Kitty Rand: Would you know anything about love?
Quimby: Who, me? Uh, not me! I'm a married man!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Heaven for Two
Lyrics by Don Raye
Music by Gene de Paul
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Total chaos on screen makes for total laughs in the audience
28 January 2006 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

Based on Olsen and Johnson's long running Broadway show this film is probably only a shadow of its source, which changed from night to night as material was ad-libbed and current events were made fun of. On stage the show had an anything can happen feel that is nicely mirrored in the opening scenes as Olsen and Johnson throw everything you can think of at the audience in a rapid fire sequence of gags about the making of the Hellzapoppin movie. Not all of them are apparent with many being purely visual and in the background. After about 15 minutes of uncontrolled madness the film settles down as Olsen and Johnson go off to an estate to put on a show. Here the rapid fire nature slows a bit as the film is forced to conform to a "plot", however its still just as funny as characters wander in and out creating an ever changing sense of madness.

I admit thats a poor description of the film, but how to you describe chaos? You can't, you have to experience it, and anyone who loves great movies and great comedy really should see this movie. Its pure mindless fun that will keep you laughing from start to finish. This is the best Olsen and Johnson film that I've seen. While it could be argued that some of the gags in Crazy House are funnier, Hellzapoppin holds all of the insanity, and the occasional musical numbers together better (In Crazy House the madness stops for each song, here the insanity keeps right on going). If you see one Olsen and Johnson film in your life this should be it.

A film to be searched out and watched repeatedly, Hellazapoppin is one of the greatest comedies ever made. (now if someone would be smart enough to put this out on DVD in the US more people could enjoy it)


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