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Knock on Wood (1954)

Approved | | Comedy | July 1954 (USA)
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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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
...
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
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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 »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agárrame si puedes  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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

Danny Kaye's character turns a corner on Oxford Street and appears on Ludgate Hill, a mile away. 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 100 Years of Comedy (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

 
Amusing vehicle for Kaye's antics as ventriloquist with psychiatric problems

It seems Hollywood was quite impressed with this Screenplay, nominating it for an Oscar as well as a Screen Writers Guild Award. It is certainly more complex than most comedy vehicles but still it's not that outstanding that its script should be considered award-worthy. Overlooked by the Academy was the lavish and varied Art Direction that did deserve an Oscar nom.

Kaye plays a ventriloquist who runs away from marriage through his alter ego dummy due to a deep-seated childhood trauma based on his parents' difficult marriage. He becomes romantically involved with a female psychiatrist. Paralleling this is a spy plot where important documents are hidden in the wooden heads of his two dummies and two opposing espionage agents are vying to get their hands on them, unbeknownst to Kaye.

This makes for amusing and madcap moments, although one really does have to be a Kaye fan to enjoy this material. Once again his wife, Sylvia Fine, delivers a few totally forgettable songs. Nepotism at work.

The funniest sequence is when Kaye impersonates a British car salesman and tries to demonstrate a new convertible that has so many buttons and so many options all hell breaks loose.

Worth a look.


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