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There's One Born Every Minute (1942)

The advertising slogans of Jimmy Hanagan and the lab reports reveal that the patented prepared pudding invented by Lemuel P. Twine has a treasure of Vitamin Z and is full of Zumph. Lemuel's... See full summary »



(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Credited cast:
Lemuel P. Twine / Abner Twine / Colonel Cladius Zebediah Twine
Helen Barbara Twine
Jimmy Hanagan
Lester Cadwalader, Sr.
Catherine Doucet ...
Minerva Twine
Mayor Moe Carson
Gus Schilling ...
Professor Asa Quisenberry
Gloria Twine
Miss Aphrodite Phipps
Junior Twine (as Alfalfa Switser)
Mel Ruick ...
Radio Announcer (as Melville Ruick)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lester Cadwalader Jr. (as Scott Jordan)


The advertising slogans of Jimmy Hanagan and the lab reports reveal that the patented prepared pudding invented by Lemuel P. Twine has a treasure of Vitamin Z and is full of Zumph. Lemuel's daughter, Helen is in love with Jimmy but her mother wants her to marry Lester Cadwalader, Jr., son of Cadwalader, Sr., political boss of the city and mentor and whip of the present mayor, Moe Carson. Cadwalader is backing Twine for mayor even though he knows he can't win, as he wants to keep a stronger candidate out of the running. But after the discovery of Zumph in Twine's pudding, Cadwalader realizes that Twine will win the election. He has Twine's pudding branded as a fake and Twine as a fraud. But Lemuel comes from a long line of fighting Twines and, as he dozes, his ancestors appear before him telling him to fight to the end. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


GYPS OFF THE OLD BLOCK! (original ad - all caps)







Release Date:

26 June 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Man or Mouse  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Working title: "Man or Nouse?" See more »


[The Twine family ghosts want to help Lemuel win the election, but a ghostly matriarch objects]
Agatha: Since when have we become trouble-shooters for dimwit mortals?
See more »


Featured in The Universal Story (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

A crazy mix of child-like adults and bratty pre-teens makes this a fun-filled comedy trip!
5 August 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In her very first film, a very young Elizabeth Taylor gets to speak the opening line, commenting on how funny an ancestor looks. In her memory, all she recalled doing in this second string feature was going around shooting rubber bands at old ladies' bottoms. She's not even billed in the opening credits; Most of the actors who are billed are basically forgotten today, even by classic movie buffs. It stars Hugh Herbert who was best known for his eccentric "woo hoo" exclamations in a series of supporting roles in Warner Brothers comedies and musicals and occasional leads in programmers. Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer plays Taylor's partner in pranks, and in one sequence, the two sing together while Herbert (as the Revolutionary war era creator of a pudding powder) in the portrait) reacts, giving Alfalfa his typical double-take. His descendant (also Herbert) is a wacky head of an advertising agency, about as competent as Alfalfa was at singing.

Catherine Doucet (a veteran of W.C. Fields comedies) plays Herbert's homebody wife, a Spring Byington/Billie Burke type who is standing in the way of her daughter Peggy Moran's chance at happiness with the man she loves (Tom Brown), wanting her to marry the son of political blow-hard Guy Kibbee who tells his off-spring, "You were born with two ears so what goes in one can go out the other". The modern day Hugh Herbert gives Brown a job in order to help him gain his wife's approval while running for public office ("What do you want for mayor, a pudding or a man?"), and this leads to a series of zany situations that turns this into an amusing farce involving various past generations of Herbert's family (all resembling him) giving him ghostly assistance. Such funny men as Gus Schilling and Edgar Kennedy (playing a pompous mayor who claims that you can put all your baskets in one egg!) round out the cast with bit parts by character actresses Renie Riano (as a spinster named Aphrodite) and Maude Eburne adding babbity provincial atmosphere. Eburne is especially funny as a spunky ghost who refers to her living descendant with "To me he's just ectoplasm in a gabardine suit!" A low-budget treat all the way around!

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