Wally Benton, "The Fox," master detective on radio, is about to go with his sweetheart to Niagara Falls in order to get married. Unknown to him, his valet has told a newspaper reporter that Benton is "Constant Reader," someone who has sent information to newspapers about murdered people and where to find their bodies, thus making the police look bad. The police are sure that "Constant Reader" is the murderer himself, since no one else could know all of the details. And so they begin a chase after Benton, a chase which leads to old abandoned warehouses and old abandoned mansions. Wally is being chased not only by the police but also by the real "Constant Reader." Can he save his girl, his assistant, and the reporter and solve the crime before either the villain or the police, who have been told to shoot on sight, kill them all? Written by
Jim Knoppow <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is the third and funniest of Red Skelton's "Whistling" movies about the murderous misadventures of Wally Benton, actor, who plays most of the roles on radio's mystery show, "The Fox". It is a breakneck farce. Skelton and a horde of comedians race their ways through a tale about how Wally is mistaken for a suspected serial murderer when all he wants to do is go on his honeymoon with Anne Rutherford -- and who could blame him?
S. Sylvan Simon, one of MGM's terrific B talents, directed. His specialty was high speed farce and he pulls things off here at a terrific pace. Simon is largely forgotten. He had just produced the movie version of BORN YESTERDAY when he died suddenly at age 41 in 1951. He directed Skelton in four of his movies and knew how to get a good comic performance out of that talented clown.
Skelton had a successful career in the movies, simultaneously with his radio and television gigs from the late 1930s through the mid-50s. His movies are unfamiliar to most people because his contract called for extra fees to him when his movies played on television! Fortunately, they play fairly often now on Turner Classic movies. Do yourself a favor and see this one.
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