A hapless bellboy in a St. Louis hotel near the end of the Civil War is recruited by the Union secret service to impersonate a notorious Confederate spy.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
...
George Coulouris ...
Maj. Jack Drumman aka The Grey Spider
Lloyd Gough ...
Capt. Steve Lorford
...
Capt. Jed Calbern
Minor Watson ...
Gen. Watkins
Charles Dingle ...
Col. Weatherby
Art Baker ...
Col. Clifford M. Baker
...
Fred Munsey
Arthur Space ...
Mark Haskins
...
Hortense Dobson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Byron Foulger ...
Mr. Duncan (scenes deleted)
Edward Gargan ...
Male Nurse (scenes deleted)
Bert Moorhouse ...
Capt. Jeffreys (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

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 <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HE'S A SPY FOR BOTH SIDES! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | History | War | Western

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Details

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Release Date:

5 August 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Superspion  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where Civil War spy Lloyd Gough listens to battle plans from the second floor flu was reused by John Ford in "The Horse Soldiers,' when Constance Towers and Althea Gibson listen to John Wayne and his officers plotting strategy until they're caught by William Holden. Brian Donlevy catches Gough spying in this film. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Kurt Devlynn: [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.
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Connections

Featured in The Big Parade of Comedy (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh! Susanna
(uncredited)
Composed by Stephen Foster (1848)
Instrumental version used as leitmotif under titles ad sung briefly by Skelton and Dahl.
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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable but not among Red's very best.
26 March 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

why would she want him?

This is one of the few times I wish I could score a film 6.5. It's because I found "A Southern Yankee" enjoyable but not as good but far from great. I think the reason is that in Red Skelton's better comedies, you really like him. In this one, however, there's less emphasis on character development and more on pratfalls. Still, it's a nice little film that is worth seeing.

When the film begins, Red is a bellboy at a hotel during the Civil War. However, through some ridiculous circumstances, he's able to capture a notorious Southern spy. He then is able to convince the spy's contact that HE is this spy. Can he somehow make it through this mission without being exposed? And, can be manage to somehow win the heart of a pretty Southern belle (Arlene Dahl)?

I think Skelton falls down more in this film than his previous films put together--and this is not really a good thing. Pratfalls abound in this one and the ending is very weak--reasons it's not among the best of his films. Still, it's a reasonably agreeable way to spend about 90 minutes of your life.


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