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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 314 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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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
...
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:

See Red in a Union Suit with Southern Exposure! 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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

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. Buster also contributed other gags some of which he'd done himself years earlier. 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

Sallyann Weatharby: Oh, Major, I'd like you to meet my cousin, Electra.
Aubrey Filmore: Morning, Electra!
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Comedy (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
(uncredited)
18th Century Anglo-American song
Used as leitmotif under main titles and in association with Northern cause.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not Red NOr Buster's Best
7 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I own all of Buster Keaton's silent films and who doesn't love Red Skelton? Having said that, this film stinks. Keaton helped write the film, which is probably why critics were reluctant to criticize it. However, the fact is that is was not funny. It was stupid, particularly in the first half hour. By then, it probably lost a number of viewers who watched this on VHS in the 1990s, as I did. (It was released on tape in 1994.)

This film also had the presence of Brian Donlevy, Arlene Dahl, John Ireland and more....all good actors....but the dialog was just d-u-m-b. Maybe this was funny in 1948, but I guarantee you the laughs aren't there almost 60 years later. What made people laugh back in the '40s doesn't always work today and they will probably say a similar thing 60 years from now.

Still, it's tough to knock the comedic talents of Red Skelton. If anyone a generation later could equal Keaton in silent comedy bits, it would be Red. He demonstrated that every week on his television show.

After that terrible start, the film got better and it was fun seeing the bumbling bellboy (Skelton) do something right, for a change, but I just think overall the humor of the '40s doesn't cut it today. Sorry.


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