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The Whole Town's Talking (1935)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 22 February 1935 (USA)
A meek milquetoast of a clerk is mistaken for Public Enemy #1, and the notorious killer takes advantage of the situation.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Jo Swerling (screen play), Robert Riskin (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward G. Robinson ... Arthur Ferguson Jones / Killer Manion
Jean Arthur ... Miss Wilhelmina Clark
Arthur Hohl ... Detective Sergeant Boyle
James Donlan James Donlan ... Detective Sergeant Howe
Arthur Byron ... Spencer
Wallace Ford ... Healy
Donald Meek ... Hoyt
Etienne Girardot ... Seaver
Edward Brophy ... 'Slugs' Martin
Paul Harvey ... 'J.G.' Carpenter
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Storyline

Ordinary man-in-the-street Arthur Ferguson Jones leads a very straightforward life. He's never late for work and nothing interesting ever happens to him. One day everything changes: he oversleeps and is fired as an example, he's then mistaken for evil criminal killer Mannion and is arrested. The resemblance is so striking that the police give him a special pass to avoid a similar mistake. The real Mannion sees the opportunity to steal the pass and move around freely and chaos results. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 February 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kralj gangstera See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is the inspiration for 1998 Bollywood movie 'Duplicate' starring Shah Rukh Khan in the double role. See more »

Goofs

When Jonesy leaves his apartment in a rush he forgets to turn off the taps and his tub is (torrentially) overflowing. But when he returns from the police much later in the day there is no water anywhere. See more »

Quotes

Arthur Ferguson Jones: I went down to the docks. There was a fleeter there leaving for Shanghai. Oh, how I wanted to get on that boat.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Between Eleven and Midnight (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The perfect comedy – a sheer delight!
9 November 2005 | by manuel-pestalozziSee all my reviews

I saw this movie a long time ago as a teenager during a Edward G. Robinson retrospective. It was the one that stuck in my mind, and I never forgot it. Now I have it on videotape and watch it regularly, it stands multiple viewing very well.

The Whole Town's Talking is one of those perfect little movies. Everything falls into place – the acting, the pace, the timing of the jokes, the dialog. Even the set design is fabulous, it was basically the big, bright office space in which the good guy Robinson plays „slaves" that was unforgettable to me. The movie boasts an assortment of caricature like characters like no other movie I know, beside Robinson I would like to mention Jean Arthur, of course, and the two funny little guys, Donald Meek and, even more memorable, Etienne Girardot as the pedantic office overseer who urges Robinson to get on with the Macintyre account.

In its social comment The Whole Town's Talking reminds me of the work of Preston Sturgess. Mentionable are the media hype about a famous gangster which is really over the top (it's up there with His Girl Friday in this aspect) and the incompetence of the police force which is unable to deal with the gangster and even less with the media and is presented as a helpless and clueless organization. So the movie still has some actuality.

Movie buffs who look at John Ford as an „auteur" may be disappointed. The Whole Town's Talking is very much a product of the studio system. But it amply shows what great things that system was able to accomplish at times!


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