Luther Heggs aspires to being a reporter for his small town newspaper, the Rachel Courier Express. He gets his big break when the editor asks him to spend the night at the Simmons mansion ... See full summary »
Two would-be safe-crackers 'sort of' kidnap the two grandchildren of millionaire J. W. Osborne. In a story somewhat reminiscent of O. Henry's The Ransom of Red Chief, the ransom amount ... See full summary »
This saga of the old west involves twin brothers who compete for possession of a rickety cow town founded by their father while a crooked mayor tries to put an end to the competitors so he can inherit the town himself.
The California Atoms are in last place with no hope of moving up. But by switching the mule from team mascot to team member, (He can kick 100 yard field goals!) they start winning, and move... See full summary »
Amos and Theodore the two bumbling outlaw wannabees from The Apple Dumpling Gang are back. They are trying to make it on their own. When they arrive at the town they are going to, all sorts... See full summary »
Drama critic Larry McKay, his wife Kay, and their four sons move from their crowded Manhattan apartment to an old house in the country. While housewife Kay settles into suburban life, Larry... See full summary »
Baby photographer Ronnie Jackson, on death row in San Quentin, tells reporters how he got there: taking care of his private-eye neighbor's office, Ronnie is asked by the irresistible ... See full summary »
Young English girl Nikky and her aunt arrive at the Moon-Spinners, a hotel on Crete, to a less than enthusiastic welcome. The coolness of the owner is only out-done by the surliness of her ... See full summary »
Luther Heggs aspires to being a reporter for his small town newspaper, the Rachel Courier Express. He gets his big break when the editor asks him to spend the night at the Simmons mansion that, 20 years before, was the site of a now famous murder-suicide. The case has aroused local interest not only because of the anniversary but due to the fact that the family heir, Nick Simmons, has returned to Rachel aiming to tear the mansion down. Luther's account of his wild, ghost-ridden night in the house leads Simmons to sue for libel, but with the aid of his friend Kelsey they determine what exactly happened that night long ago and the identity of the real killer. Written by
This picture is easy to rave about. I don't know how many times I've seen it, but 'Chicken' never fails to work its magic. A thesis could be written on its gentle lampooning of small town America, the travails of the 'little guy', and the character studies which show the human comedy which surrounds us every day of our lives. Pretty much every scene is a classic of comedy, from the malfunctioning elevator operator to the repeated motifs of 'Atta boy, Luther' and 'And they used Bon Ami!' It's also a treasure trove of fine performances, from Burt Mustin to Jessalyn Fax, not to mention Don K., of course. Harry Hickox, Hope Summers, Charles Lane, what could be better? Everything is genuine, from Skip Homier's matching with (former Playboy model!) Joan Staley to Luther's accurate but frenzied punching of the transmission buttons in the center of the steering wheel of his Edsel. Vic Mizzy's score is incredible, and his crazed organ toccata will burn itself into your memory even more than his trademark electric guitar accents. Everything is well-composed in Techniscope. This picture, along with the rest of the Knotts Universal contract (climaxing in the very odd 'The Love God?'), 'Angel in My Pocket', and even 'Cold Turkey' form an amazing comic vision of Americana, created by brilliant minds who knew how to capture it without resorting to cheap shots or vulgarity. 'Chicken' is a great comedy, a classic, and its greatness is found in its humbleness.
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