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Behave Yourself! (1951)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime | September 1951 (USA)
When a cute Welsh terrier follows Bill Denny home, little does he know that all gangland has its eye on that dog. Who will be bumbling Bill's undoing - the gangsters, the cops, or his suspicious mother-in-law?

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

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Kate Denny
...
Officer O'Ryan
Francis L. Sullivan ...
Fat Freddy
...
Mother
...
Pinky (as Lon Chaney)
...
Norbert 'Gillie the Blade' Gillespie
...
Albert Jonas
...
Pete the Pusher
...
Plainclothesman
...
Shortwave Bert
...
Max the Umbrella
Archie ...
Himself - Dog
...
Numi
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Storyline

Beyond living in his disapproving mother-in-law's house while he establishes his accounting career, Bill Denny is happily married to Kate Denny, the two who are celebrating their second wedding anniversary. Bill thinks he's come home without a present for Kate since a stray Welsh terrier caused a ruckus in the store where he was going to buy the present. However Kate believes her anniversary present is the terrier who followed Bill home and who Kate eventually names Archie. What neither Bill or Kate is aware of is that the terrier escaped from its owners, a bunch a smugglers who trained the terrier to be the contact for the switch between the smuggled goods and the money. Bill does whatever he can to get rid of the terrier as he and Archie don't get along. Meanwhile, the people buying the smuggled goods believe the smugglers have swindled them since the terrier has not made contact. So when ads appear in the lost and found section about a missing Welsh terrier, Bill, in trying to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

OH! The things that go ON ... and ON ... and ON!

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Symphonie en 6.35  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lon Chaney Jr and Shelley Winters would be reunited in I Died A Thousand Times (1955). See more »

Goofs

Plot hinges on a small trained dog who is shipped to Los Angeles by crooks, with message that if dog is walked on Wilshire Boulevard, he will lead crooks to their criminal contact. However, Wilshire is one of city's longest streets (16 miles) and instructions don't indicate either what area of this street dog is to be walked or even which side, meaning the dog would conceivably have to be walked 32 miles. See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits begin with the words "Cast, in the order of their disappearance". See more »

Connections

References Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Behave Yourself!
by Lew Spence and Buddy Ebsen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An enjoyable comic farce
7 February 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Channel 31 is not a television station typically known for its quality programming, but, after first introducing me to 'His Girl Friday (1940)' some time last year, it can now add a second commendable achievement to its résumé. I'd just emerged from my bedroom in the morning when my father clicked over to the neglected station, and a vaguely familiar face {whom I would later identify as Farley Granger} was being troubled by an adorable little Welsh terrier named Archie. If I'd known that it was a movie I probably would not have continued watching, but, as fate would have it, I thought it was an ancient television comedy series, and so I figured it'd all be over in half an hour. Needless to say, by the time the thirty minute mark came and went, I was too engrossed in the amusing story that was unfolding, and 'Behave Yourself! (1951)' proved to be quite an enjoyable viewing experience.

Unfortunately, in rising from bed a few minutes too late, I had missed the opening few scenes of the film, and so it took me a while to piece together the various puzzle pieces of the plot. William Calhoun "Bill" Denny (Granger) is a clumsy husband who is followed home one day by an intelligent dog, which is mistaken for an anniversary present by his wife, Kate (Shelley Winters). Meanwhile, for reasons I never really worked out, a cohort of gangsters are attempting to retrieve the dog, which somehow holds the key towards $100,000 in counterfeit banknotes. As Bill tries everything he can to return the dog to its original owner, he also finds that he has about the worst luck in the world, continuing to arrive at apartments just minutes after somebody has been murdered in there. The gangster comedy notably boasts an assortment of familiar faces, including Lon Chaney Jr. and Elisha Cook Jr., both playing characteristically-shady characters.

Though undoubtedly lightweight, 'Behave Yourself!' is an enjoyable comedic twist on the gangster genre, with Farley Granger doing a surprisingly good job as the leading klutz. The film is full of small amusing details, such as the icily-sarcastic remarks of Bill's mother-in-law (Margalo Gillmore), the chief detective repeatedly referring to Bill as "O'Denny," and the continual confusion as to who the hell this Archie character is. Of course, it's the young canine performer who really steals the show, demonstrating an assortment of clever tricks and flawless comedic timing, in the same way that Asta dominated the 'Thin Man' films. Though it's not very well known, George Beck's comedy is presumably in the public domain, and so shouldn't be all that hard to find. If you're ever in the mood for something silly and entertaining, this one is a good bet.


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