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Blondie Has Servant Trouble (1940)

Approved | | Comedy | 25 July 1940 (USA)
Mr. Dithers has a house he can't unload because it is rumored to be haunted. When he lets the Bumsteads move into it, they discover sliding panels and secret passages. The haunting is the ... See full summary »

Director:

Frank R. Strayer

Writers:

Richard Flournoy (screen play), Albert Duffy (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Penny Singleton ... Blondie
Arthur Lake ... Dagwood
Larry Simms ... Baby Dumpling
Daisy ... Daisy
Danny Mummert ... Alvin Fuddle
Jonathan Hale ... J.C. Dithers
Arthur Hohl ... Eric Vaughn
Esther Dale ... Anna Vaughn
Irving Bacon ... Mailman
Ray Turner ... Horatio Jones
Walter Soderling ... Morgan
Fay Helm ... Mrs. Fuddle
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Storyline

Mr. Dithers has a house he can't unload because it is rumored to be haunted. When he lets the Bumsteads move into it, they discover sliding panels and secret passages. The haunting is the work of the butler and his wife who figure the house rightfully belongs to them. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No one can hold a candle to them...when it comes to uproarious...wholesome fun! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 July 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blondie Beware See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original US 16 mm television syndication prints)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The sixth of 28 Blondie movies, all starring Penny Singleton as Blondie Bumstead and Arthur Lake as Dagwood Bumstead released by Columbia Pictures from 1938 to 1950. See more »

Goofs

In the 1966 King Features reissue credits actress Esther Dale's name is misspelled as Ester Dale. See more »

Connections

Followed by Footlight Glamour (1943) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good help is so hard to find
28 October 2001 | by lugonianSee all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** BLONDIE HAS SERVANT TROUBLE (Columbia, 1940), directed by Frank R. Strayer, the sixth entry to the popular film series based on Chic Young's comic strip, features a typical setting of any film comedy series: a haunted house theme.

Blondie (Penny Singleton) is tired of doing all the household chores and wants husband Dagwood (Arthur Lake) to ask his boss Mr. Dithers (Jonathan Hale) for a $10 raise in order to hire one. But Dithers has other plans in order for Dagwood to earn that extra bonus. As a favor to him, Dithers has Dagwood and Blondie spend the weekend in a supposedly haunted house in order to prove to one of his client-buyers that the supposed haunting is just a false rumor. While at the home, which is miles away from the nearest town, the Bumsteads first encounter a Negro named Horatio (Ray Turner) who is staying at the house in order to get initiated into a club. During the gloomy rainy evening the doorbell rings. There stands are Eric and Hannah Vaughn (Arthur Hohl and Esther Dale), a middle-aged couple whom the Bumsteads believe to be the servants hired by Mr. Dithers, but while the Bumsteads don't notice anything strange about the couple, especially their would-be butler, their youngster, Baby Dumpling (Larry Simms) does, especially when the couple come into the house out of the rain with their clothing still dry. Aside from the creepy Vaughn's and added sound effects of rain and thunder, the Bumsteads encounter secret panels, strange noises and a shriek from Horatio who suddenly disappears without a trace. More mystery ensues after Dagwood finds a newspaper clipping regarding Eric Vaughan. Then when they decide to telephone for help, the lines are suddenly cut, which adds to the suspense in this comedy-thriller.

Adding mystery to comedy, the movie includes highlights such as clothing in the closet mysteriously disappearing and reappearing again; Dagwood constantly getting a flashlight stuck in his mouth and Blondie slapping him on his back to get it out, only to find Dagwood demonstrating how he got the flashlight stuck in his mouth in the first place and have it stuck there again; and the Bumstead dog, Daisy, adding shivers in a frightful performance from this little scene stealing pooch.

In the supporting cast in smaller roles are Danny Mummert as Alvin Fuddow, the Bumstead's boy genius next door neighbor; Fay Helm as Mrs. Fuddow; and Irving Bacon as the neighborhood postman who not only gets run over by Dagwood, as in the previous entries, but here by the entire family as they rush out of the house where they are staying.

BLONDIE HAS SERVANT TROUBLE has its share of chills and thrills, temporarily breaking away from its usual domestic problems at home and at the office. Arthur Hohl give a glassy-eyed and moody performance that would have made Bela Lugosi proud. This surely ranks one of the most watchable movies in the series, especially during Halloween. The movie was not only distributes on video cassette as part of the "Blondie" collection, but has been presented on American Movie Classics from 1996 to 2001. Have a howl of a good time with this one. (**1/2)


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