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A Southern Yankee (1948)

 -  Comedy | History | War  -  5 August 1948 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 297 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 2 critic

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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Title: A Southern Yankee (1948)

A Southern Yankee (1948) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Aubrey Filmore
...
Kurt Devlynn
...
Sallyann Weatharby
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
Reed Hadley ...
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

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 August 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Superspion  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

No one could figure out a simple, yet funny way to get Aubrey out of the house when he was being held captive by the angry dog. Buster Keaton, employed by MGM as a roving gag man, was called to the set, looked at the set up, and came up with the idea of removing the door hinges and letting the dog in as Aubrey got out. The most famous gag in the movie took Keaton all of five minutes to devise. See more »

Goofs

The identity of the Gray Spider is allegedly only known by Generals Lee, Johnson, and Jackson. Stoewall Jackson had actually died two years earlier in 1863. 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Court Jester (1955) 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.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Red Skelton makes the most of a Civil War comedy with some good gags...
14 April 2011 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Whether he's doing purely slapstick stunts or tongue-twisting feats ("the packet in the pocket of the jacket or the packet in the boot with the buckle" kind of stuff), RED SKELTON never misses a moment to get the most out of the series of gags upon which the screenplay of A SOUTHERN YANKEE is built.

The fun starts when he accidentally knocks out a real Southern spy known as The Grey Spider (GEORGE COULOURIS) and is chosen to take his place and given fake plans to deliver to the Union troops. Naturally, being the goof-ball that he is, he gets everything mixed up and has to cope with a bunch of hilarious mistakes--and so does everyone else.

ARLENE DAHL is amusing as the daughter of a Southern general (CHARLES DINGLE) and makes an amusing foil for many of Skelton's gags. The script has plenty of inventive situations, some of them proposed by none other than Buster Keaton who had his own Southern spy comedy years ago called "The General." BRIAN DONLEVY and JOHN IRELAND are given little to do but cope with Skelton's antics but he's practically the whole show anyway.

The brisk comedy directed by Edward Sedgwick is a better than average vehicle for Skelton's comedy style and should definitely please Skelton fans.

Note: If this had been made at Paramount, it would have been an ideal vehicle for Bob Hope.


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