So You Want to Be a Salesman (1947)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Short  |  13 September 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 35 users  
Reviews: 3 user

Joe McDoakes is new at selling vacuum cleaners and, despite using every technique and approach in the manual, he fails to sell even one, as his wife also refuses to buy one. He is fired and ends up doing singing commercials on the radio.


(as Richard Bare)


(as Richard Bare)
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Cast overview:
George O'Hanlon ...
Art Gilmore ...
Narrator (voice)


Joe McDoakes starts his new job as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman for the Atom Smasher Corporation, whose sales managers treat the company like it's the military and the salesmen its foot soldiers. Joe follows the training manual in trying to sell the vacuums, but doesn't seem to have much luck, even in the off chance that he does come across a willing buyer. His failure in this job is to the dismay of his exasperated wife, Alice. On the possibility of a court martial by the sales managers and a dishonorable discharge from the corporation if he doesn't come through, Joe is certain that he can become a success in the sales business. Written by Huggo

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Plot Keywords:

joe mcdoakes | narration | sequel | See All (3) »


Comedy | Short


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 September 1947 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Followed by So You Want to Get It Wholesale (1952) See more »


I Know That You Know
Music by Vincent Youmans
Played during the opening credits and at the end
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User Reviews

Funny McDoakes
31 March 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

So You Want to be a Salesman (1947)

*** (out of 4)

Nice entry in the series has Joe McDoakes (George O'Hanlon) returns from the war needing a job so he decides to become a door-to-door salesman. His latest mission is to sell a vacuum cleaner but of course nothing is going to go right as our hero gets into one mess after another. This here is a pretty good entry in the series as it contains some very funny moments and a nice little twist at the end. We get a lot of the jokes that we'd expect with a few customers taking advantage of Joe with one kid pretty much stealing a vacuum from him. There's also a handbook that Joe tries to follow to get people to buy the product and again this doesn't go as planned. Another nice joke has him finally confronting his boss and yet another where he tries to sell one to his wife. As usual, O'Hanlon is wonderful in the role of McDoakes as there's certainly no one else that could have played this character.

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