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The Magnificent Dope (1942)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  21 October 1942 (Mexico)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 275 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 7 critic

Dwight Dawson, who runs an unsuccessful success school, stages a contest to find the biggest failure in the USA, for publicity value when the "dope" takes his course. But winner Tad Page is... See full summary »



(screen play), (original story)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lynn Bari ...
Claire Harris
Dwight Dawson
Horace Hunter
George Barbier ...
James Roger Barker
Frank Orth ...
Roseanne Murray ...
Dawson's Secretary
Marietta Canty ...
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Albert Gowdy
Hal K. Dawson ...
Josephine Whittell ...
Mrs. Hunter
Arthur Loft ...
Mr. Morton, Fire Engine Salesman
Paul Stanton ...
Claire Du Brey ...
Peter's Secretary
William B. Davidson ...
Mr. Reindel


Dwight Dawson, who runs an unsuccessful success school, stages a contest to find the biggest failure in the USA, for publicity value when the "dope" takes his course. But winner Tad Page is contented with his idle, lazy life and threatens to convert Dawson's other students to his philosophy. Dawson captalizes on Tad's attraction to Claire Harris to win him over; but will Tad find out Claire is really engaged to Dawson? Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

newspaper | See All (1) »


Meet the All-American Jerk...Ladies' Man De Luxe!




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 October 1942 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Assim Vivo Eu...  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Don Ameche's character says, "None but the brave," and attributes the quote to Benjamin Franklin. Actually it's from the first stanza of John Dryden's Alexander's Feast, "None but the brave, deserve the fair." See more »


Tad Page: I've known a lot of go-getters. I've been pallbearer to about ten of 'em. They're just so darn busy goin' and gettin', they didn't have time to breathe.
See more »


Down on Ami Ami Oni Oni Isle
Music by Harry Owens
Played by the band when the photographer shows up at the Havana Club
See more »

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User Reviews

" Success is a job in itself, and Shrouds don't have pockets "
2 September 2012 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

The city of New York is home to millions of people who desire to become successful in business. Thus a man like Dwight Dawson (Don Ameche) believes he can teach any candidate how to succeed in business without really trying. Dawson is worried however that his school is lacking students and therefore needs to increase his student body count by offering a $500.00 prize and a free 8 week course to the Laziest man in the country. He hopes by transforming a failure into a go-getting success, his school will flourish. His contest selects Thadeus Winship Page (Henry Fonda) who is selected, but has no ambition to change who or what he is, that is until he meets and falls in love with Dawsons' assistant, Lynn Bari (Claire Harris) who along with Horace Hunter (Edward Everett Horton) strive to make him unhappy with himself. The original story originated with Joseph Schrank and is further directed by Walter Lange who combine to creates a wonderful film that is fun for the entire family. Indeed, audiences reacted well to the movie, so much so, both Fonda and Ameche launched their careers with it. In the end, the entire cast should be credited with this milestone. Excellent viewing. ****

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