Pirdy is accident prone. He has been denied insurance from every company in town because he is always getting hit or hurt in some way. On the day that he meets the lovely Ellen of the ... See full summary »
Joe, inventor in an American Small town of 1895 has problems with his new invention, a car, driven with a gasoline motor. Everybody is making fun about his "crazy invention", only his girl ... See full summary »
Ambrose C. Park (Red Skelton), left on a park bench as an infant with an impulsive need to find his parents, is an assistant to a diamond cutter. Shyster lawyer Remlick (James Whitmore), in... See full summary »
Lowly clerk Aubrey Piper has a fondness for exaggerating about himself to impress people. His fantastic tales of visiting China and working as a manager at his place of employment charm his... See full summary »
When spoiled young heiress Maggie Richards tries to charge some gasoline at an auto camp run by Bill Davis, he makes her work out her bill by making beds. Resolving to get even, she ... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
Once a famous Ziegfeld star, Dodo Delwyn, is reduced to playing clowns in burlesque and amusement parks as a result of his drinking. His son Little Dink idolizes Dodo and faithfully ... See full summary »
Al Marsh, Tony Naylor and Jerry Ralby, Broadway producers, are desperately looking for backers. Al is one of the heirs of a dress salon in Paris, but this is almost bankrupt. The two other ... See full summary »
After being captured during a bank robbery, a cowboy is sent to a prison located in a swamp, where he contracts malaria. He soon escapes and, with the help of a Mexican, sets out to track ... See full summary »
Taking the identity of a dead postal inspector found on the trail, a stranger rides into a small western town and finds himself in the middle of a stagecoach robbery perpetrated by a gang ... See full summary »
Aubrey Filmore (Red Skelton) is a bumbling bellboy in a Missouri town who pesters the Union officers there; he desperately wants to be a spy for the North in the American Civil War. When Filmore accidentally waylays an infamous Confederate spy known as "The Grey Spider" and is mistaken for him by the Rebels, the Union brass see it as an opportunity for real espionage - and though Filmore is a coward as well as a fool, his real motivation for derring-do is a sweet Southern girl named Sallyann, whom he will see again behind Southern lines. Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film received its initial television broadcasts in Los Angeles Monday 6 May 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11) and in New York City Monday 11 November 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2); in San Francisco it was first telecast 8 November 1958 on KGO-TV (Channel 7). See more »
Mention of prisoner exchange is mentioned by the colonel. Prison exchanges were stopped by Grant in 1864, the first union commander who realized the road to victory lay through attrition. See more »
[to Calbern about Aubrey]
That's another thing I can't understand. Every time I meet him I'm convinced he's a complete idiot.
See more »
Skelton the Spy...Civil War shenanigans in capable hands
St. Louis bellhop, anxious to get in on the action during the Civil War's final days, manages to nab himself a Southern spy nicknamed "The Grey Spider"; he switches places with the Spider and infiltrates the Confederate party, falling in love with a Belle along the way. Whether they were working with Bob Hope, Danny Kaye, or Red Skelton here, comedy masters Melvin Frank and Norman Panama (credited as the story writers, alongside screenwriter Harry Tugend) know how to pull off a great gag--whether it be verbal or visual--and manage to keep it going, in the manner of the great silent comedies. A double take can turn into a pratfall, which turns into a lot of pratfalls, which turns into slapstick chaos. No matter what your taste about physical shtick, Frank and Panama usually employ their prowess with bright efficiency, and "A Southern Yankee" has many laugh-out-loud sequences (the double-sided flag, the pine cone on the stump, and all the early business in the hotel). Director Edward Sedgwick maybe should have let Melvin Frank direct as well, as several of the nutty set-pieces (such as the dentist's office) look too much like staged gags. However, when the pacing grows cold there's always Skelton to rely on, and he's very funny and ingratiating throughout (particularly the way he says "Sallyann"). Amusing premise isn't just an excuse for the slapstick, but functions quite well on its own, and the costumes and battlefield sequences are rather impressive. **1/2 from ****
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