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Who Done It? (1942)

Approved | | Comedy, Mystery | 6 November 1942 (USA)
Two dumb soda jerks dream of writing radio mysteries. When they try to pitch an idea at a radio station, they end up in the middle of a real murder when the station owner is killed during a broadcast.

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(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Police Lt. Lou Moran
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Detective Brannigan
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Marco Heller
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Dr. Anton Marek
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Storyline

Two dumb soda jerks dream of writing radio mysteries. When they try to pitch an idea at a radio station, they end up in the middle of a real murder when the station owner is killed during a broadcast.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

6 November 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deux nigauds détectives  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As part of a display on telephones and communication, the Smithsonian Institute used a clip of Lou Costello trying to call in for the radio contest to demonstrate the mechanics of placing a call with an operator-run exchange. See more »

Goofs

When Bud and Lou first meet/search the two Police detectives Costello searches the Police Lt and feels his badge. He screams, yells out 'RING' and tricks the detective into answering the phone giving them time to escape. Abbott runs and exits the door with Costello close BEHIND him. In the very next scene from outside in the hallway the Camera shot shows Costello exiting the door in FRONT of Abbott. See more »

Quotes

Col. J.R. Andrews: Mr. Turner, may I remind you that I have a contact for your services, and I intend to exercise it.
Jimmy Turner: You'll get plenty of exercise trying to find me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Naughty Nineties (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

My Favorite in the A&C Canon
4 October 1999 | by (Philadelphia, PA, USA) – See all my reviews

By 1942, with the release of "Who Done It?" Universal Studios had learned a thing or two about Abbott and Costello: Namely, that the ridiculous boy-girl subplots and the subpar music (except from the Andrews Sisters) that padded their other features to date where wholly unnecessary. Thankfully, Bud and Lou are given full reign in "Who Done It?" without any extraneous material.

That said, it's easy to see who "Who Done It?" is my favorite of all their features. Not only are "the boys" in top form, but the supporting cast is great as well; Mary Wickes is a perfect foil for Lou (bringing to mind his earlier clowning with Joan Davis in "Hold That Ghost"), and it's a shame the two didn't work together more (even *her* talents couldn't pump any life into "Dance With Me, Henry").

Abbott and Costello comedies are often long on laughs but short on plot. Not the case with "Who Done It?" The ins and outs of a radio spy ring are well crafted, providing appropriate counterpoint to the antics of Bud and Lou.

And what antics there are! Lou is convulsively funny here, from the opening moments where he deals with an obnoxious elevator boy (and "wins" a bet concerning the production of orange juice) to the later chase on the studio rooftop (and clever use of the sign "Vote for Townsend Phelps"). Classic bits--such as the insanity of "Alexander 2222", which reaches a new and self-deprecating conclusion--are here as well.

Sadly, Universal didn't remain knowledgeable about what to do with A&C for long; soon after, the love stories and drippy songs were back. But "Who Done It?" remains as a testimony to what this incomparable comedy team could achieve on its own.


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