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The Awful Sleuth (1951)

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Drug store soda jerk Bert is a true-crime buff who revels in detective magazines. But he doesn't recognize the notorious gangster he waits on, smiling Memphis Mike. Bert innocently sends ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Bert Wheeler ...
Bert
Ben Welden ...
Memphis Mike Bennett
Tom Kennedy ...
Pinky
Minerva Urecal ...
Bert's Mother-in-Law
Jean Willes ...
Bert's Wife
Vernon Dent ...
Al Keefer, Bert's boss
Ralph Volkie ...
Henchman
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Storyline

Drug store soda jerk Bert is a true-crime buff who revels in detective magazines. But he doesn't recognize the notorious gangster he waits on, smiling Memphis Mike. Bert innocently sends Mike to his own apartment building, but when he finally recognizes Mike and threatens to have him arrested, Mike and his henchman Pinky hold him captive. Bert escapes onto a high window ledge, with Mike and Pinky gleefully shooting at him, but Bert's bossy mother-in-law claims credit for the crooks' ultimate capture. Written by Scott MacGillivray

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Genres:

Short | Comedy

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Details

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Release Date:

19 April 1951 (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?

Connections

Remake of The Big Squirt (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

Wheeler's Film Finish
26 July 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After the death of his partner, Robert Woolsey, Bert Wheeler starred in two comedy features. After that, he was unable to get any screen roles. In 1950, Jules White, of Columbia pictures, offered Wheeler a deal for two-reel comedies. Bert appeared in two of these, first "Innocently Guilty", directed by Jules White, and then this opus, a very early directorial effort of Richard Quine. I guess after this film, White had no further use for Wheeler. In this remake of Charley Chase's "The Big Squirt", Bert is a soda jerk obsessed with crime magazines. If one forgets that Wheeler was in his mid 50s at this time, the short can be enjoyed. Wheeler is still the man-child that he portrayed in his earlier films, but he is now middle aged, living with his young wife and mother-in-law, and working in a dead end job. There is some sadness in this. However, once we suspend this fact, the short is a typical Columbia exercise in slapstick. You can see that Quine is more artistic in his direction, as opposed to White and Ed Bernds. However, they were more comfortable in slapstick comedy and had greater experience in producing the Columbia product. Quine directed two other short comedies, one starring Eddie Foy, Jr. and the other featuring Hugh Herbert, who would not work with Ed Bernds. He was then promoted to Columbia features where he honed his unique, mannered style. I would have loved to see a Three Stooges film directed by Quine. "The Awful Sleuth" is a fascinating film and required viewing for Wheeler, Quine and Columbia short fans.


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