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The Magnificent Dope (1942)

Approved | | Comedy | 21 October 1942 (Mexico)
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:
Claire Harris
Dwight Dawson
Horace Hunter
James Roger Barker
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 ...
Peter's Secretary
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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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: Oh no, I've got no respect for anybody who was born lazy. That's like being born a king. They didn't do anything to get there. Oh, I had to develop it. Took me a long time to get where I am.
See more »


I Know Why (and So Do You)
Music by Harry Warren
Played during the opening credits and occasionally throughout the picture
See more »

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User Reviews

Delightful Henry Fonda with a new philosophy
7 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A refreshing, funny film about a different kind of American dream - laziness.

Dwight Dawson (Don Ameche), peddling his success classes, launches a contest to find the laziest man in America. The plan is to turn the winner into an aggressive, driven success through his class and draw thousands of enrollees. The winner is Tad Page, beautifully portrayed by Henry Fonda. He's a happy man who feels that, though he's not rich, he has everything - he just wants the prize money to buy a fire engine for his town. He has no interest in taking Dawson's class. Then he falls in love - with Dawson's girlfriend (Lynn Bari).

This is a delightful movie about a man who has the true secret of life and is able to impart it to many he meets. As the original post indicated, it's a great life lesson and something to think about.

The cast - Fonda, Ameche, Bari, Edward Everett Horton, are just great. The birthday party, during which Ameche and Horton try to keep Tad from realizing that Bari is Ameche's girlfriend - was especially funny. Highly recommended.

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