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Francis (1950)

 -  Comedy | War | Fantasy  -  February 1950 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 665 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 2 critic

A Mule Wiser Than Many of the Humans.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Francis (1950)

Francis (1950) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Maureen Gelder
...
Nurse Valerie Humpert
...
Col. Hooker
...
Gen. Stevens (as John McIntyre)
...
Col. Plepper
Howland Chamberlain ...
Maj. Nadel
James Todd ...
Col. Saunders
Robert Warwick ...
Col. Carmichael
...
Sgt. Chillingbacker
...
Capt. Jones (as Anthony Curtis)
Mikel Conrad ...
Maj. Garber
Loren Tindall ...
Maj. Richards
Charles Meredith ...
Banker Munroe
Francis the Talking Mule ...
Francis (as Francis)
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Storyline

The truthful soldier Stirling didn't know how to lie about his source of information, the talking army Mule, Francis, so he was treated as a lunatic and led to one after another hilarious situations, where the mule was the only one that appeared in his right mind. In the process of all this, the mule assisted in uncovering a spy, Mareen, who pretended to be lost among the jungles, but was actually... This is a perfect family film, even amusing to the adults. If people all have enough sense as this talking mule does, the world will be a much better place than its present condition. Written by Winston Song

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Francis the Talking Mule  »

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Francis the Talking Mule receives an "introducing" credit. See more »

Quotes

Francis the Talking Mule: I hope to kiss a duck I can talk!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Fix (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean
Traditional Scottish folk song
Performed by Chill Wills
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User Reviews

 
Don't Ask; don't tell
2 April 2007 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

"Francis" is extremely entertaining on the surface. It has likable characters and Chill Wills is great as the voice of the mule. It's a must for lovers of animals.

Almost from the start, though, I felt a subtext. Maybe this was conscious at the time. Maybe it wasn't. In 1950 when the movie was released, there were things more common than saying you were talking to a mule that could land you in the "psycho ward." (Hero Donald O'Connor is shown in scene after scene weaving increasingly elaborate baskets.) His superiors and fellow soldier deride him. The mule is of undetermined gender. The mule speaks in a wittily sarcastic way that presages the tone from "All About Eve." (Or Thelma Ritter's lines, anyway.) One of the two women in the movie is a temptress, maybe not so nice. The other is ZaSu Pitts. Pitts plays a rather plump nurse who is very understanding of O'Connor.

It spawned several sequels, which were doubtless aimed at children. But this seems in many ways like an allegory about the love that in those days dared not speak its name.


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