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Knock on Wood (1954)

 -  Comedy  -  July 1954 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 575 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 13 critic

Ventriloquist Jerry Morgan has to see another love affair fail. The reason: when the relationship reaches the point when it is time to discuss marriage, his doll Clarence becomes mean and ... See full summary »

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Title: Knock on Wood (1954)

Knock on Wood (1954) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jerry Morgan / Papa Morgan / Clarence
...
Dr. Ilse Nordstrom
Torin Thatcher ...
Godfrey Langston
David Burns ...
Marty Brown
...
Laslo Gromeck
Abner Biberman ...
Maurice Papinek
Gavin Gordon ...
Car Salesman
Otto Waldis ...
Brodnik
Steven Geray ...
Doctor Kreuger
Diana Adams ...
Princess Maya
Patricia Denise ...
Mama Morgan
Virginia Huston ...
Audrey Greene
Paul England ...
Chief Inspector Wilton
Johnstone White ...
Langston's Secretary
...
Second Trenchcoat Man
Edit

Storyline

Ventriloquist Jerry Morgan has to see another love affair fail. The reason: when the relationship reaches the point when it is time to discuss marriage, his doll Clarence becomes mean and jealous. His fiancée Audrey leaves him and Jerry smashes his two dolls, Clarence and Terrence. Morgan's doll maker Papinek is a member of a spy ring who has stolen secret plans to the top secret Lafayette airplane. Since Morgan is leaving for Zurich the same night, Papinek decides to use Morgan's dolls as a mailbox and hides the secret plans in the heads of the dolls. Another secret spy ring also wants to get their hands on Jerry's luggage and they *also* follow him. Eventually, Jerry is chased by both these organizations as well as the police, who suspects him of murder. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spy | ventriloquist | love | murder | ballet | See All (7) »

Taglines:

The No. 1 Song-and-Dance Clown at his best!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Lachbombe  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although set in London, the film was mostly made on Hollywood studio sets. However, a second unit was sent to London to film backgrounds, and in these scenes a double was used for Danny Kaye, mostly filmed from behind or from a distance. The double was in fact a well-known British actor and comedian, Jon Pertwee. This may account for the fact that a character called "Sir Pertwee" appears in Kaye's subsequent film "The Court Jester", also made by the team of Melvin Frank and Norman Panama. See more »

Goofs

Supposedly set in England, all of the cars on the streets of London are left-hand drive. See more »

Quotes

[as the stage show's end, the ventriloquist's dummy asserts itself]
Jerry Morgan: [speaking of his fiancee] Really, folks, she's a beautiful, wonderful girl. I wish you could see her.
Clarence: Yeah, you should see her. A blonde, blue-eyed, baby-faced purse-snatcher.
Jerry Morgan: Clarence!
Clarence: A peroxide octopus.
Jerry Morgan: Quiet!
Clarence: Fifteen hands and they're all in his pockets.
Jerry Morgan: Clarence! Please!
Clarence: A hundred and ten pounds of well-stacked rattlesnakes!
Jerry Morgan: Clarence!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

All About You
(1953) (uncredited)
Written by Sylvia Fine
Sung by Danny Kaye and danced by him and Mai Zetterling
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Relatively Forgotten
24 April 2005 | by (Tampa, FL United States) – See all my reviews

This isn't quite in the class of The Court Jester, but it's better by far than most comedies. Kaye's character is one of those who gets caught up in intrigue without fully understanding just what's going on.

Spoilers follow: One really funny scene has Kaye's character hiding under a table, where those who are hunting him decide to sit down. One of them puts his hand on Kaye's knee, so he immediately puts his hand on that man's, so he'll think he's resting his hand on his own knee. Then the other (third) guy does the same thing with Kaye's other knee, and Kaye responds identically. Then, as the men talk, they start drumming their fingers on Kaye's knees, and he has to mimic their actions! Incredible work that probably involved a lot of retakes.

There's one wonderful running gag where Kaye and his girlfriend are trying to escape pursuit by cutting through a car caught in a traffic jam. Later, they do the same, and happen to crawl through the same car, with the same couple in it. This leads to a great last line toward the close of the picture.

You could do far worse than this one and still see a pretty good picture.


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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