Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce are playing themselves, seen on the Universal studio lot. They call each other "Holmes" and "Watson" as a joke because they were currently playing these characters in Universal movies. See more »
I just saw this film in NYC at the Film Forum, where it was introduced by a nephew of Billy Gilbert, who has a small part in the film.
It was one wild ride.
The audience enjoyed the film thoroughly for what it is, a B movie musical starring Olsen & Johnson that is insane. The comedy duo has to break into Universal in order to make a film there, since no one wants them - in fact, a secretary, on learning who they are, jumps into her desk - we got to see that bit twice because the film broke. If you want to call the plot a plot, O & J run into difficulties getting financing for their film and, faced with huge debts, decide to auction it to the highest bidder. The film they make is awfully short.
Some of O & J's bits are quite funny and others are of the groan variety. There are many familiar faces in the film - Patric Knowles, Percy Kilbride, Hans Conried, Thomas Gomez, Franklin Pangborn, Shemp Howard, and some funny cameos by Universal stars in the beginning of the movie when they realize Olsen & Johnson are in the building - Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes, Nigel Bruce, Alan Curtis, Leo Carrillo. Allan Jones sings "The Donkey Serenade," the De Marcos dance, and the end of the film within a film is a huge musical number done by The Glenn Miller Singers, Count Basie's Orchestra, the Delta Rhythm Boys, Leighton Noble's orchestra, and Chandra Kaly's Dancers.
"Crazy House" has a great deal of energy and is a real oddity. It was fun to watch, but I don't think I'd want to watch it again.
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