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 ...
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Barbara Bel Geddes,
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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
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 (1955), also made by the team of Melvin Frank and Norman Panama. See more »
Danny Kaye's character turns a corner on Oxford Street and appears on Ludgate Hill, a mile away. See more »
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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