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 »
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 <email@example.com>
This film received its initial television broadcasts in Chicago Monday 22 April 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Philadelphia Saturday 4 May 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Los Angeles Monday 6 May 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11) and in Memphis Wednesday 8 May 1957 on WHBQ (Channel 13); it first aired in Altoona PA 19 May 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Binghamton NY 26 May 1957 on WNBF (Channel 12), in Miami 4 July 1957 on WCKT (Channel 7), in Honolulu 21 July 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13), in Seattle 15 August 1957 on KING (Channel 5), in Minneapolis 8 November 1957 on KMGM Channel 9) and in New York City 11 November 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2); in San Francisco it was first telecast 8 November 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »
The identity of the Gray Spider is allegedly only known by Generals Lee, Johnson, and Jackson. Stonewall Jackson had actually died two years earlier in 1863. See more »
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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