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The Great Rupert
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The Great Rupert (1950) More at IMDbPro »

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The Great Rupert -- This delightful family favorite is the story of two struggling families who end up getting some unexpected charity from Rupert, their resident (animated) squirrel!  After discovering a pile of cash in the house, the police suspect Louie (Jimmy Durante) of theft, but it turns out the friendly squirrel has been gradually shifting a stash of bills that their miserly neighbor was hiding in his wall!


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Up 28% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
László Vadnay (screenplay)
James O'Hanlon (additional dialogue) ...
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Release Date:
1 March 1950 (USA) See more »
He's not just squirrelin' around! See more »
A little squirrel with lots of charm accidentally helps two poor, down-but-NOT-out families overcome their obstacles. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
A Christmas WISH (Irving Pichel, 1950) **1/2 See more (31 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jimmy Durante ... Mr. Louie Amendola

Terry Moore ... Rosalinda Amendola
Tom Drake ... Peter 'Pete' Dingle
Frank Orth ... Mr. Frank Dingle
Sara Haden ... Mrs.Katie Dingle
Queenie Smith ... Mrs. Amendola

Chick Chandler ... Phil Davis
Jimmy Conlin ... Joe Mahoney
Rupert ... Rupert the Squirrel
Hugh Sanders ... Mulligan

Don Beddoe ... Mr. Haggerty (as Donald T. Beddoe)
Candy Candido ... Molineri - Florist

Clancy Cooper ... Police Lt. Saunders
Harold Goodwin ... Callahan - F.B.I. Man

Frank Cady ... Mr. Taney - Tax Investigator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lester Dorr ... Eddie, the Bartender (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Passerby in Park (uncredited)
Frank Marlowe ... Dave the Mailman (uncredited)
Torben Meyer ... Mr. Petrushka the Baker (uncredited)
Ralph Montgomery ... Fireman (uncredited)

Irving Pichel ... Puzzled Pedestrian (uncredited)
Harry Strang ... Fire Chief (uncredited)

Directed by
Irving Pichel 
Writing credits
László Vadnay (screenplay) (as Laslo Vadnay)

James O'Hanlon (additional dialogue) and
Harry Crane (additional dialogue)

Ted Allen (story)

Produced by
George Pal .... producer
Original Music by
Leith Stevens 
Cinematography by
Lionel Lindon (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Duke Goldstone 
Production Design by
Ernst Fegté 
Set Decoration by
Joseph Kish 
Makeup Department
Flora James .... hair stylist
Harry Ray .... makeup artist
Production Management
Lewis J. Rachmil .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Harold Godsoe .... assistant director
Sound Department
William H. Lynch .... sound (as William Lynch)
Visual Effects by
Barry B. Sandrew .... visual effects producer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Maurice Goldberg .... still photographer (uncredited)
B.P. Jacques .... grip (uncredited)
Stanley Williams .... gaffer (uncredited)
Lothrop B. Worth .... camera operator (uncredited)
Animation Department
Fred Madison .... animator: "Rupert" (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Helen Rachmil .... costume stylist
Music Department
Clarence Wheeler .... orchestrator
Other crew
John S. Abbott .... technical supervisor (as John Abbott)
Miles E. Pike .... technician (as Miles Pike)
Curly Twiford .... animal trainer
Giby Whitlock .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
87 min | 88 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Netherlands:AL (2007) (DVD) | UK:U | USA:Approved (PCA #14013)

Did You Know?

It may be reasonable to assume that the writer chose "Amendola" as actor Jimmy Durante's family's last name given the movie's subject matter. When the Amendola's felt blessed by money from what they thought was from heaven, indeed, the play on words "Amen Dollar," fits perfectly.See more »
Melody For Two Orphan InstrumentsSee more »


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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
A Christmas WISH (Irving Pichel, 1950) **1/2, 3 January 2008
Author: MARIO GAUCI ( from Naxxar, Malta

Like BEYOND TOMORROW (1940; see my comments to that film), this is another little-known Yuletide flick which has been saved from public domain, colorized and retitled on its Fox DVD; in fact, not only was this originally shot in black-and-white but was named THE GREAT RUPERT after the amiable puppet of a kilt-wearing dancing squirrel who helps to realize the impoverished protagonists' recurring Christmas wish. In fact, Rupert proved to be the first creature animated for a feature-length film by famed sci-fi producer George Pal and is also notable as one of big-nosed multi-talented entertainer Jimmy Durante's best film vehicles.

The story starts with down-and-out animal trainer Jimmy Conlin being evicted from his ramshackle apartment by miserly landlord Frank Orth but Conlin's squirrel soon returns to Conlin's old hide which is already occupied by the equally penniless acrobatic trio, the Amendolas played by Durante, Queenie Smith and Terry Moore. Predictably enough, Orth's ne'r-do-well musician son Tom Drake falls for Moore but is soon driven to distraction by the unwarranted attention the latter is receiving from visiting Broadway agent Don Beddoe looking to re-engage Conlin for his act. Meanwhile, Rupert himself is getting annoyed with Mr. Orth's storing his weekly stash of cash in his wooden house...

Although George Pal's puppet effects are nicely enough done, "Schnozzle" Durante is practically the whole show here and, typically, he has a couple of numbers featuring his eccentric singing-and-piano-playing style. Actor/director Irving Pichel – who, apparently, also appears in the film as a "puzzled pedestrian" – hands the light material quite competently which makes this unassuming concoction a gently pleasing alternative to the usual Christmas fare.

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