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Jitterbugs (1943)

 -  Comedy  -  11 June 1943 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 538 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 3 critic

The boys team up with a likable con man to help a pretty singer's mother who's been taken in by swindlers.

Director:

(as Mal St. Clair)

Writer:

(screen play)
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Title: Jitterbugs (1943)

Jitterbugs (1943) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Susan Cowan
Robert Bailey ...
Chester Wright (as Bob Bailey)
...
Malcolm Bennett
Noel Madison ...
Tony Queen
Lee Patrick ...
Dorcas
Robert Emmett Keane ...
Henry Corcoran
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Storyline

The two-man Laurel and Hardy Zoot Suit Band find themselves fronting a scam for "gasolene pills" in wartime oil-short America. They are however soon on the side of the angels helping recover $10,000 for an attractive young lady whose family have themselves been swindled. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is that movie about those people.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 June 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jitterbugs  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$310,600 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,100,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cy Slocum, who played a bouncer in this movie, was Oliver Hardy's stand-in and stunt double in the Laurel and Hardy movies of the 1930s. See more »

Goofs

When Oliver Hardy is disguised as the Southern colonel he hands a prop to juvenile lead Bob Bailey and says, "Here, Bob." However, Bailey's character is named Chester Wright. See more »

Quotes

Oliver: Well, here's another fine mess you've gotten me into!
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Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

If the Shoe Fits, Wear It
(1943)
Music by Lew Pollack
Lyrics by Charles Newman
Sung by Vivian Blaine (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A shadow of their former glory, but still rather watchable
2 January 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Following 1940's SAPS AT SEA, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy became free agents--selling their talents to studios such as Fox and RKO. While these and other studios were willing to pay them more than they'd been getting from Hal Roach Studio, the quality of all these post-Roach films took a significant hit. Unless you are a die-hard fan of the team, you really should watch their earlier stuff--it's just so much funnier and better.

While JITTERBUGS isn't a bad film, it's a mere shadow of their former style and glory--mostly because it has too much plot and too much singing. The beauty of the older Laurel and Hardy films was that they could take very simple plots and milk it for all it was worth just by allowing them to slowly do their thing. Here, however, the film is very plot-heavy and like all these later lesser films, the duo are more supporting actors instead of the whole show. Here, Vivian Blaine and Robert Bailey take away from the focus on Stan and Ollie--with Blaine singing (way too much) and Bailey as a smooth-talking grifter. In the older films, Stan and Ollie were THE focus--supporting characters were never intended to have much personality and were there merely for the use and abuse of the team. Here, the audience is simply distracted by these lesser talents--and I wanted much more Stan and Ollie!!

Now despite these distractions, the film works very well on occasion. First, when the boys are performing as a two-man band, this scene is very clever and the music very catchy--so, of course, this small scene is never repeated and apart from this tiny scene, there is not Jitterbugging at all--despite the title! Second, there are some funny moments--particularly when Stan dresses up like Ms. Blaine's aunt. While it may not sound all that funny, Stanley handles it well and you can't help but laugh--especially when he utters the line "I feel so gay"--you gotta see it to appreciate it!

So overall, it's a very, very mixed bag but an overall product that still has you wondering why the studio didn't just let Stan and Ollie "do their thing"? Why insert other characters or include lots of distracting singing and show tunes?! With the greatest movie duo in history, it was insulting to given them material that just wasn't up to snuff. And speaking of not being up to snuff, how about that floating gas scene where the wires were so obvious and visible?! Didn't Laurel and Hardy deserve better than just some cheap stunt than looked third-rate?


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