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So You Want to Be an Heir (1953)

Thinking he may inherit a million dollars from his dying grandmother, Joe McDoakes finds himself the target of murderously greedy family members.


(as Richard Bare)


(story), (as Richard Bare)


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Cast overview:
George O'Hanlon ...
Joe McDoakes / Uncle Silas / Ellery / Cousin Agatha / Grandmother


Joe McDoakes receives a wire telling him he will inherit his grandmother's million dollar estate if he reaches her before she dies. He rushes to her home where he is met by some weird relatives and a weird lawyer. Grandmother informs him the wire is a gag but that the others don't know and will probably try to murder him for the inheritance. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy | Thriller





Release Date:

19 December 1953 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Released as part of Warner Home Video's "Burt Lancaster Signature Collection" on the same disc as "South Sea Woman." See more »


The Lawyer: [without physical co-ordination] Walk this way!
See more »


Follows So You Think You're Allergic (1945) See more »


I Know That You Know
(1926) (uncredited)
Music by Vincent Youmans
Played during the opening credits and at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Nice Spoof
24 February 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

So You Want to Be an Heir (1953)

*** (out of 4)

A somewhat different pace for the Joe McDoakes series has our hero receiving a letter from his dying grandmother saying he's going to inherit her million dollar estate. Joe rushes to her bedside and soon his other relatives are trying to kill him. This comedy actually enters the "old dark house" genre and manages to be rather funny even though this isn't the type of film we come to expect from McDoakes. George O'Hanlon plays not only Joe but also his uncle, cousin, grandmother and another character. He actually does a very good job at playing all the relatives and manages to make all the characters quite funny. There are many spoofs of the old dark house genre including the various murder suspects and the big bats flying around. It's also worth noting that there's one scene where a deformed lawyer tells McDoakes to "walk this way" and McDoakes actually walks the same way. This is the same gag later used in Young Frankenstein so you have to think either Brooks or Wilder saw this film.

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