A group of French soldiers during WWII are captured by Nazis troops and sent to a military prison. There they will have to make use of his best resources to keep alive... and sane, while at the same time scheming a way out.
Winnie Slade, a young divorcee, buys an old historic house from nutty Professor Billings, who lives there with his daffy housekeeper and bizarre neighbors, in order to convert it into a hotel. She allows them to continue to live on the property - unaware that the Professor continues to experiment unsuccessfully on traveling salesmen, the bodies of whom have filled the cellar. They are joined by a variety of eccentric characters including a quack doctor who doubles as the town's sheriff, Winnie's frenetic ex-husband, an oddball choreographer, a punchdrunk traveling salesman, and a lunatic escapee from the Italian army. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jeff Donnell's Winnie slips and calls Peter Lorre "Professor Lorre", not Lorenz, and it remains in the film. See more »
Do you imagine I could take advantage, exploit, capitalize on a great scientific discovery? Cheat millions of people all the world over? Profane my profession? Suppose I make a few dollars, don't you think I wouldn't put it right back into science?
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A curious film which weaves satirical comments about World War Two into a modified "Arsenic and Old Lace" theme, together with an implicit weakness of technology and what passes for science. The strongest satire revolves around nutty Professor Nathaniel Billings (Boris Karloff), a mad but seemingly harmless scientist, whose attempt at creating a superman is so close to Hitler's expressed plan for a superman race that the parallel cannot be ignored. The film was produced during a time of military victories for the Axis powers, at a point in World War Two when the Allies were all but powerless to resist. Satire seemed the only sure weapon. As a movie, it's great fun, with a cast much too sophisticated for both the plot and the script. In effect, the acting skill of both Karloff and Peter Lorre (as Dr Lorenz) are the film's salvation. As wacky as the characters are, they seem plausible representations of real folks, which makes one wonder who, indeed, is really in charge of the asylum.
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