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Knock on Wood (1954)

 -  Comedy  -  July 1954 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 585 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
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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

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

Danny Kaye's character turns a corner on Oxford Street and appears on Ludgate Hill, a mile away. 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

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

 
One of the five all-time best comedies
24 February 2003 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

There is a scene in KNOCK ON WOOD in which Danny Kaye, trying to escape from the London police, finds himself backstage during an overly dramatic Russian ballet, and soon enough, is onstage, heavy-footedly trying to blend into the scene without being spotted by the police in the audience. The result is the single best spoof of ballet the live side of animation (with "Dance of the Hours" in FANTASIA being its cartoon match). I actually saw Danny Kaye do this routine onstage at the Palace Theatre in New York where, great though it was, the closeups provided by the movie camera make the film version even more hilarious. Kaye is one of the most underrated actors of all time. This movie shows his brilliance and range. His facial expressions are as brilliantly comic as Sid Caesar's, and the two of them leave the rest of the pack far behind. (Is Robin Williams a distant third?)

KNOCK ON WOOD is uneven. It's not the most perfectly realized Kaye film--that honor goes either to SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY or COURT JESTER. The latter, being a musical, maybe is the best. COURT JESTER is overall funnier than KNOCK ON WOOD, but no scene in it comes close to the ballet spoof.


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