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Behind the Eight Ball (1942)

The members of a summer theater group get mixed up with spies and murder.

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(original story "Off the Beaten Path"), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Al Ritz ...
...
Harry Ritz ...
...
...
Bill Edwards
...
Babs
...
Danny
...
McKenzie
...
Clay Martin
...
Harry B. Kemp
...
Bobby Leonard (as Jack Arnold)
Sonny Dunham ...
Orchestra Leader (as Sonny Durham and His Orchestra)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
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Storyline

The shooting and murder of two guest stars at the Shady Ridge Summer Theatre, operated by Joan Barry, threatens to close the musical "Fun For All." To bolster the show, Joan induces Bill Edwards, who shares joint ownership with her, of the farm the theatre is located on, and Sheriff McKenzie, to hire the Jolly Jesters. They steal the show and, along the way, uncover a spy ring and a bullet-shooting clarinet. Written by Les Adams <lomghorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sing and Swing with songs by Gene de Paul and Don Raye- "Mr. Five By Five" - "Wasn't It Wonderful?" - "Golden Wedding Day" - Keep 'em Laughing" See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 December 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Off the Beaten Track  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Working title: "Off the Beaten Track" See more »

Quotes

[When The Jolly Jesters learn that the performers they are replacing were murdered during the previous night's performance they bolt town]
Jolly Jester: Imagine them calling the show "Fun for All".
Jolly Jester: I'm glad we got out of there before they called it "Three Men in a Hearse".
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Soundtracks

Keep 'Em Laughing
Written by Gene de Paul and Don Raye
Performed by The Ritz Brothers
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User Reviews

 
Ritz Brothers Unshackled
21 October 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Hey, finally the Ritz boys put to good use. Actual characters rather than just a backdrop for a boring love story. The Three Jolly Jesters are brought in after two killings two nights in a row at a theater in the Berkshires. They are the only ones pathetic enough to take the job replacing the dead acts. As plots go, this one is entirely idiotic. William Demarest is his usual loud and angry self, and the degree to which he puts the Ritz Boys and others in the show in harm's way in order to solve his crime is a bit offensive. Yes, it's a wacky comedy, but this plot point could have been less moronic. Plot aside, the Ritz boys get a good deal of screen time, clowning as well as singing/hoofing. They do a number saluting Charles Atlas and one mocking Ted Lewis. They get good lines and bits, including one meta-gag where they actually refer to the Ritz Brothers. Good, loud big band music all around.

Al and Jimmy, who are normally just window dressing to Harry, actually stand out a bit with their own lines. Still can't tell the two apart, but oh well. Bottom line for fans: This movie, while brief and nonsensical gives you more Ritz Brothers for your money than any film I've yet seen. I'd put it next to Kentucky Moonshine as one of their best.


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