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The Inspector General (1949)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 31 December 1949 (USA)
A town's corrupt officials think a fool is actually an investigator in disguise.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Won 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Colonel Castine


An illiterate stooge in a traveling medicine show wanders into a strange town and is picked up on a vagrancy charge. The town's corrupt officials mistake him for the inspector general whom they think is traveling in disguise. Fearing he will discover they've been pocketing tax money, they make several bungled attempts to kill him. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

31 December 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Happy Times  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Near the beginning of the movie Leza (Barbara Bates) is tightening the corset of Maria (Elsa Lanchester. Maria demands that Leza tighten the corset more and Leza explains that it's already tight. After Maria leaves, another character comments that Leza was correct and the corset was too tight: "it makes her eyes bug out." This was an inside joke, since Elsa Lanchester's eyes were somewhat protuberant. See more »


When Otto the dog offers Georgi the food, the dog's shadow is directly towards Georgi. In the next longer shot, both the dog's and Georgi's shadows are in the completely opposite direction. See more »


Georgi: [making up code for "arrogance, elegance, and smarts"] Give 'em the fist, give 'em the wrist, give 'em the finger!
See more »


Version of Wer zuletzt lacht, lacht am besten (1971) See more »


Onward Onward
(1949) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Sylvia Fine
Sung a cappella a bit by Walter Catlett
See more »

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User Reviews

Danny Kaye show with his particular talent as a great comedian about an issue of mistaken identities
8 March 2006 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

Freely based on Nikolai Gogol's play , "The Inspector General" about a false Inspector who comes to examine a little corrupt town . It deals with an illiterate called Giorgi (Danny Kaye, able to tongue twist faster than anyone else) along with his boss (Walter Slezak) , both of whom are wandering and acting as medicine men into a provincial town wherein panic . Then Giorgi's detained for vagrancy charge but he's misidentified as a feared Inspector General who comes to check up on them and whom the corrupter town officers (the Mayor : Gene Lockhart married to Elsa Lanchaster and another officer played by Alan Hale) think is secretly moving in disguise . Later on , they make various bungled tryings to murder him . Meanwhile , Giorgi falls in love with a beautiful maid (Barbara Bates) who is serving to the Mayor.

The film is a Danny Kaye recital , he sings , dances , stooges , makes acrobatics , tongue twister and puts faces and grimaces . It's a pretty amusing farce suggested by a play by the Russian writer Gogol with the master comedy actor and it displays much choreography and musical numbers . Sylvia Fine , Kaye's wife , is the lyricist , composer , besides associate producer and dialogs writer , and responsible for many of the best known musical routines and songs for her husband . The best gags are developed on the Charles Chaplin imitations when Kaye is having lunch ; the events in the crowded room with several hosts that seem Marx brothers sketches ; in addition , the comic numbers in the military training headquarter . Support cast is frankly good , such as Elsa Lanchester , Barbara Bates , Gene Lockhart , Alan Hale , Néstor Paiva and Rhys Williams , among others . The motion picture was well directed by Henry Koster . Picture is a Kaye vehicle , and many consider his best comedy , he's an authentic comedian and real farceur . If you like Kaye's crazy interpretation , you will most definitely enjoy this one .

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