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Wedlock Deadlock (1947)

Approved | | Short, Comedy | 18 December 1947 (USA)
The third of four Columbia shorts starring Joe DeRita, made across a period of 15 months from late 1946 to early-1948, has newlyweds Eddie (Joe DeRita) and Betty (Christine McIntyre) barely... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Aunt Hortense
Lydia - Betty's Mother
William Newell ...
Charles Williams ...


The third of four Columbia shorts starring Joe DeRita, made across a period of 15 months from late 1946 to early-1948, has newlyweds Eddie (Joe DeRita) and Betty (Christine McIntyre) barely moved into their new house before Betty's mother (Esther Howard), aunt (Patsy Moran) and brother (Charles Williams) show up and give every indication of becoming permanent free-loading guests. Dick (William Newell) gives Eddie a plan that will cause his unwanted guests to vacate the premises, by having Dick and his wife, Ruby (Dorothy Granger), move in as Eddie's relatives, and even bigger pests, thereby causing Betty's relatives to move out. The plan works and Eddie and Betty are pleased until Dick announces that he and Ruby have intentions of staying on. A Spanish-language subtitled version was released as "La Suegra Intrusia." Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Tops for Merry Marital Mayhem! (Title lobby card).


Short | Comedy






Release Date:

18 December 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La suegra intrusa  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Remake of Unrelated Relations (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

Curly-Joe lines his nyucks in a row
20 May 2006 | by (Hee-Haw country) – See all my reviews

Don't dis Joe Derita, final successor to Stooge Jerome "Curly" Howard. It's true that no replacement could best a comic genius like Curly, but those belittlers of brother Shemp and the Joes should consider this: If Curly had survived the booze and strokes, would you really want to see a middle-aged man playing an overgrown, psychopathic child? The results would likely be more horrifying than humorous.

Unlike Joe Besser, who foolishly tried to upstage Larry and Moe, Derita was a team player who helped keep Moe's mayhem machine cranking for another decade to the delight of countless kiddies. Unfortunately, Joe's "character," a meek bumbler, requires strong material. Excluding WEDLOCK DEADLOCK, his comedy shorts are flatter than day-old Panther beer. One wonders what possessed old man Cohn to authorize the series.

You could substitute a dummy for a Stooge in SLAPPILY MARRIED, as Joe is pummeled with dishes, manhandled by comic tough Dick Wessel, and vexed by a cavalcade of slapstick clichés, minus the laughs. In the painfully bad follow-up, GOOD BAD EGG, Joe's inventions are sabotaged by his insufferable stepson. I think Shemp could have salvaged these, but why bother? It appears that everyone involved knew the scripts were putrid. JITTER BUGHOUSE, the last series entry, is livelier, but mostly serves as a showcase for the Novelites, a crude musical comedy act. Joe, playing their manager, addresses the camera when introducing their odious numbers.

That leaves the high-flying WEDLOCK DEADLOCK, wherein the gags are plentiful and the cast is game. When his honeymoon nest is invaded by boorish in-laws, Joe drives them off by inviting friends to pose as his relatives...who happen to be homicidal lunatics! Joe provides some funny asides - his "character" has a habit of talking to himself - and absurd, Stoogeworthy touches abound. (After devouring Joe's wedding cake, a gluttonous uncle gnaws on the bridal figurines!) WEDLOCK DEADLOCK may not change one's opinion of Joe Derita, but it's still a solid comedy equal to most Stooge efforts of the period.

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