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)
The plot of this film has strong similarities to Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), in which both Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre were previously associated - Karloff appeared in the theatrical original (and at least three television adaptations) while Lorre co-starred in the film version. See more »
Jeff Donnell's Winnie slips and calls Peter Lorre "Professor Lorre", not Lorenz, and it remains in the film. See more »
Horror King Boris Karloff seems to be having a good time here spoofing his own mad doctor image in this light-hearted black comedy which was probably inspired by ARSENIC AND OLD LACE. As a kindly (but naive) old inventor, the wacky Karloff wants to "aid the war effort" by creating his own homegrown superman. Boris teams up in this one with the offbeat Peter Lorre as another "scientist" and "jack of all trades" to bop unsuspecting subjects over the head for usage in their daffy experiments. One of their dimwitted victims is even Max "Slapsie Maxie" Rosenbloom. Karloff and Lorre make a good comical duo in the first of a few films where they'd eventually share the spotlight together, and there are some light chuckles to be had in this good natured, if uneven, diversion.
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