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Knock on Wood (1954)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  July 1954 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 613 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

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

Production Co:

 »
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

Jerry Morgan: Mr. Papinek, you're a Frenchman, and the French are supposed to know about these things. I'd like to ask you something. Now, how can you tell when you're really in love?
Maurice Papinek: [having fixed his dolls] Remember, you must not touch.
Jerry Morgan: Not even if you're in love?
Maurice Papinek: Not until the glue hardens.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Big Time Operators (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

End of Spring
(1953) (uncredited)
Written by Sylvia Fine
Ballet Performed by Danny Kaye, Diana Adams, Alex Goudavich & others
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another riotous Danny Kaye film
3 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Danny Kaye made only 17 big screen movies and six TV movies in his 50-year career. He was surely in demand to do more. But like other many-talented physical performers (i.e., Fred Astaire), Kaye took time to perfect his often complicated routines. And, his films were mostly in his first 30 years. He had his own highly popular TV series that ran over five years, 1963-1967, and he made guest appearances on other shows.

Kaye was one of the few multi-talented performers on stage and the silver screen; and I think he was one of the best. He was primarily known as a comedian. But he was an excellent dancer and singer as well. He was a first-rate mimic. He had a versatile voice and could imitate various ethnic voices. And, he was the singular master of tongue-twisters. His rapid-fire, tongue-twister monologues and songs were marvelous to see and hear.

About the middle of his career, Kaye made "Knock on Wood." He plays a ventriloquist, Jerry Morgan, who unwittingly gets involved in an espionage caper between Paris and London. Kaye sings, dances, tongue-twists, and ruses his way through many a scrape in this delightful comedy. He has his usual slapstick situations, and is riotous in a ballet sequence. When three bodies turn up in his hotel rooms, he becomes known in London as the "red-headed ripper." Two of the most hilarious escapades are his posing as an English gentleman and then as an Irishman at a Sons of Hibernia convention. His tongue-twister song in brogue is over the top funny.

Danny Kaye played a couple of serious roles in films, but mostly was an entertainer who relished making people laugh. Kaye never won an Oscar but was given an honorary Academy Award for his exceptional talents and service to filmdom and America. He was just 44 when he received that award in 1955. He did win two Golden Globes – for "On the Riviera" in 1952 and "Me and the Colonel" in 1958. And, he won an Emmy for his TV comedy series. In 1982, he received another award from the Hollywood academy – the Jean Herscholt Humanitarian Award. For many years, Kaye was ambassador at large for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the organization asked him to accept the 1955 Nobel Peace Prize it was awarded.

Kaye is probably most known today for his co-starring role with Bing Crosby in "White Christmas." In 1955, he was near the end of his roles with much physical activity, and he focused more on music. He played Red Nichols in that music man's 1959 biopic, "The Five Pennies." Kaye toured with Bob Hope shows for American service men overseas. Hope said Kaye was his favorite comedian.

Whatever Danny Kaye was in was worth watching. Kaye said that he was born to entertain people. All of his comedy films are among the best of the genre. The inimitable Danny Kaye shines in this wonderful comedy, as he does in all the others. It's pure joyful and fun entertainment for the whole family.


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