Falling asleep during the Paradise Coffee ("The Coffee that Makes You Sleep") Program, the band's third trumpeter dreams he's Athanael, an angel deputized to blow the Last Trumpet at ... See full summary »
New Yorkers Bill and Connie Fuller have to move from their apartment. Without Bill's knowledge, Connie purchases a delapidated old farmhouse in Pennsylvania, where George Washington was ... See full summary »
Jack Benny is preparing his New Year's Eve radio broadcast but takes time out to take his valet Rochester to meet his girlfriend Josephine arriving on a steamer. Fred Allen and his sister ... See full summary »
Calvin Churchill, a confidence-man, and his sidekick/stooge, "Clip" McGurk, are being pursued by an Internal Revenue agent, Henry Potke, for their failure to file an income-tax on the ... See full summary »
Compassionate small-town lawyer Richard Clarke moves to New York City to seek his fortune, but is unsuccessful until he takes a friend's advice and tries to convince the world he's a ... See full summary »
Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson
Jane Budden, a country girl goes to the big city, determined to find and marry a wealthy man. Instead, she meets and marries Herman Maxim, a struggling inventor. After their marriage, his ... See full summary »
A former aristocrat Ippolit Vorobyaninov leads a miserable life in Soviet Russia. His mother-in-law reveals a secret to him - she hid family diamonds in one of the twelve chairs they once ... See full summary »
Buck Boswell and his all-girl troupe are stranded in Paris, but Buck manages to con the manager of the 'Hotel de Navarre' in furnishing accommodations for his group, but the proprietor's ... See full summary »
Dwight Dawson, who runs an unsuccessful success school, stages a contest to find the biggest failure in the USA, for publicity value when the "dope" takes his course. But winner Tad Page is... See full summary »
Wealthy Frederick Trumble makes an eccentric new will, secretes much of his wealth in a chair, then, within seconds, is murdered. The new heir, Fred Floogle, runs a flea circus. Of course, the reputed $12 million inheritance goes to his family's heads...then proves to consist of five chairs, which the disgusted Floogle sells just before discovering their secret. Packed with wisecracks, strange cameos, and nothing-sacred, anything-goes digressions. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
On one of Fred Allen's "Texaco Star Theater" radio broadcasts circa 1941, Allen joked that Don Ameche was playing so many real-life characters in movies, if he wasn't careful Don Ameche would play Don Ameche in a movie one of these days. In this picture, Don Ameche indeed played Don Ameche - in a scene opposite Fred Allen. See more »
When Parker is showing the Floogles his son's mousetrap he shows how the entry teeter board works by moving it. After a cut to the Floogles and back to Parker, he's moving the teeter board the same way again. See more »
You mean last year's diamonds? Oh no, we don't bother with them. You see, we just throw them out. They get so shabby, you know.
See more »
Before the final card at the end of the movie, Fred Allen breaks the fourth wall one more time and says to the audience "Folks, you've got to come back to the next show, immediate seats on the inside." See more »
Fred Allen was--with the possible exception of his "rival" Jack Benny--the biggest star in the history of radio. He was Letterman to Benny's Leno--an acerbic smartaleck who practically invented topical humor/current political events satire. While he had numerous small film roles and cameos (and later starred in TV's "What's My Line?"), "It's In The Bag" was Fred Allen's only starring role in a motion picture, and it was a good one.
The plot--Allen gaining, then losing, then frantically trying to recover an inheritance hidden inside one or more mystery chairs--is just a skeleton on which to hang the movie's wry jokes, strange interludes and satirical jabs at Hollywood stars. A trainload of radio and film comedians appear in this movie, including Jack Benny (with whom Allen shared a longtime "feud" that was as successful--and as manufactured--as anything the World Wrestling federation ever produced). Author and bon vivant Robert Benchley makes a strong appearance here, and Richard Wallace's steady direction manages to keep up with the comic mayhem.
Allen's irreverent humor, wild tangents and complete disregard for film conventions (including the sacred fourth wall) inspired Mel Brooks, who, drawing from its source material, made a version of "It's In The Bag" as his second feature, "The Twelve Chairs"--although literary purists who love the original darkly satiric Russian novel by Ilf and Petrov, take note: you will likely hate both these movies with a fiery passion. Even faithful Russian screen adaptations of that extraordinary book have failed to capture its greatness, and "It's In The Bag" doesn't even try--it's merely a sardonically humorous sendup of 1940s Hollywood in general and Mr. Allen in particular. It's no intricate Russian literary classic, but if you love vintage Hollywood comedies with an edge, you won't be disappointed.
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