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It's in the Bag! (1945)

Passed | | Comedy | 21 April 1945 (USA)
The ringmaster of a flea circus inherits a fortune...if he can find which chair it's hidden in.



(screen treatment), (screen treatment) | 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Bendix
Victor Moore
Rudy Vallee
Eve Floogle
Dr. Greengrass - Psychiatrist
Jefferson T. Pike
Gloria Pope ...
Marion Floogle
William Terry ...
Perry Parker
Minerva Pious ...
Mrs. Pansy Nussbaum
Richard Tyler ...
Homer Floogle (as Dickie Tyler)
Detective Sully


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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 April 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fickle Fortune  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character Pansy Nussbaum was originally created for Allen's radio show "Allen's Alley". On the radio the character was also performed by Minerva Pious, like in the movie. See more »


In the opening credits Fred Allen says about "Screen Treatment and screen play" that these four people are now out of work. However his own name is mentioned in the screen treatment. See more »


Eve Floogle: 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 »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Version of 12 stulyev (1966) See more »


Sweet Genevieve
(1869) (uncredited)
Music by Henry Tucker
Lyrics by George Cooper
Sung by Fred Allen after he's discovered
See more »

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User Reviews

Witty and edgy--but strays far from the novel
30 December 2004 | by (Grover Beach, CA) – See all my reviews

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.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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