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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:
...
Chick Larkin / Voice of Himself on Radio
...
Mervin Q. Milgrim / Voice of Himself on Radio
...
Jimmy Turner
...
Police Lt. Lou Moran
...
Jane Little
...
Col. J.R. Andrews
...
Detective Brannigan
...
Art Fraser
...
Marco Heller
...
Juliet Collins
...
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

Country:

Language:

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

The "watts-volts" routine was not in the script. It was created by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello on the set. See more »

Goofs

When Juliet is telling Mervyn that he can buy her some ice cream after the radio broadcast but that she had to go take care of radio business, her voice is heard but her lips don't move. When she turns around after entering the studio, she says something, but it isn't heard. 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

Featured in The World of Abbott and Costello (1965) 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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