A feud between rival newspapermen Kruger (Bromberg) and McDonald (Guilfoyle) goes deadly when blackmailing McDonald ends up murdered and his corpse planted in the trunk of Kruger's car. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Isabel Randolph ...
Frank Jenks ...
Mack Hogan
Eric Sinclair ...
James Kruger
Paul Guilfoyle ...
Andy McDonald
...
'Slippery Joe' Clary
Charles Coleman ...
Egbert
...
Desmond
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Storyline

A feud between rival newspapermen Kruger (Bromberg) and McDonald (Guilfoyle) goes deadly when blackmailing McDonald ends up murdered and his corpse planted in the trunk of Kruger's car. Good guy Kruger attempts to hide McDonald's body, with the help of chauffeur Hogan (Jenks), to keep from being charged with murder. However, zany scenarios occur as the body just won't stay hidden, and keeps on popping up in multiple places where Kruger is located, leading to him hiding the body again and again while Kruger tries to find the real killer. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Body Was A.W.O.L.... and a House Party was on the loose!

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

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Release Date:

1 June 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stranger in the Family  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Officer Trigg sees Kruger speeding past, and sets out after him, his motorcycle has three headlights on. But just seconds later, before he catches up to Kruger, only two headlights are on. The next time we see him, still at night, none of the headlights are on. See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Dreamer
(uncredited)
Music by Stephen Foster
Played during an early scene showing Alice Kruger (Isabel Randolph) in bed
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User Reviews

 
Easy going mystery-comedy is hard to dislike
10 May 2012 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Wealthy newspaper publisher Henry Kruger (J. Edward Bromberg) can't get served breakfast—he sits at his morning table but the servants just carry the trays right on past. His wife Alice takes breakfast in bed and sends down a note asking him to check her overdrawn bank account; son James takes only tomato juice due to today's hangover; daughter Phylis is "indisposed" but her photo is featured in the rival newspaper's story about last night's nightclub brawl. Mr. Kruger is understandably fed up with his family.

He also does not get along at all with that rival paper's publisher: a crook and blackmailer named McDonald (Paul Guilfoyle). McDonald has plenty of enemies—there's Kruger himself; his chauffeur Hogan (Frank Jenks) who claims to have a score to settle; and even McDonald's muscle man Joe, who discovers his own motive for murder.

Yes, we can see it coming…but the murder is not the surprise here: rather, it's the way the dead body keeps jumping around, from car trunk to wood box to numerous other locations. Who moved it now? and who will stumble on it next? Rapid dialog and one silly situation after another add up to a pretty funny picture.

Bromberg and Jenks lead the cast well; their boss-and-chauffeur act clicks nicely as each assumes that the other did the murder and eventually has to be enlightened.

Momentum builds as the rest of the family and numerous others gradually congregate at the vacation lodge where Kruger and Hogan (and the corpse) are holed up. "Why, Henry, we'll have a family reunion," says the wife on her arrival; "Won't that be nice," is Kruger's quietly bitter reply.

It's a good natured if not particularly inspired murder comedy. Totally ridiculous—but fast moving and unpretentious.


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