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What Makes Lizzy Dizzy? (1942)

Approved | | Short, Comedy, Crime | 26 March 1942 (USA)
This Columbia short (production number 3431) has Harry Langdon and Elsie Ames billed above the title, but it is all Elsie Ames with Langdon and Monty Collins (if his name is Monte, how come... See full summary »


Jules White


Philip L. Leslie (story), Ewart Adamson (screenplay)


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Complete credited cast:
Harry Langdon ... Harry
Elsie Ames Elsie Ames ... Lizzy
Dorothy Appleby ... Aggie
Monte Collins Monte Collins ... Bill, Aggie's Boy Friend (as Monty Collins)
Lorin Raker Lorin Raker ... Mr. Kelley


This Columbia short (production number 3431) has Harry Langdon and Elsie Ames billed above the title, but it is all Elsie Ames with Langdon and Monty Collins (if his name is Monte, how come---except for typos--- he is always billed as Monty?) only around to get a bowling ball bounced off the top of their collective heads, plus a couple of unfunny sight gags. Langdon, while top-billed, also played second-fiddle to the pratfalls of Elsie Ames in "Carry Harry" and even soon found himself billed second to Una Merkel---yes, that Una Merkel--- in Columbia's 1944-short "To Heir Is Human." Lizzy and her friend Aggie are toiling in Kelley's Laundry in order to get enough money to marry their boy friends Harry and Bill, and soon find themselves as a two-woman company bowling team attempting to keep Mr. Kelley from losing a $1000 bet. Things happen. Some of them funny. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Not so fizzy
7 August 2010 | by hte-trasmeSee all my reviews

Elsie Ames was, for some reason, though to be an upcoming comedy star at Columbia Pictures' shorts department. As a result she was paired first with headliner Buster Keaton and then with Harry Langdon. Whether this was to the the end of creating a marketable comedy team or simply to give s boost to Ames' career by letting her share billing with an established name in comedy, the results in this short are not very constructive. Nobody comes out a winner, really: Ames is consistently, loud, broad, and not very funny in her comedy. Langdon is given less screen time, uncharacteristic gags, and a sped-up pace, all of which work squarely against his style of comedy.

"What Makes Lizzy Dizzy?" has an unfocused and random premise that has something to do with Elsie working in a laundry, a bowling competition, and a safe robbery. Characteristic of director Jules White, it's really an excuse for a series of very one-note, very violent (many instances of head trauma, for instance, that would probably result in concussion in real life, and one scene where people's skin gets exposed to dangerously strong acid), and inexpertly timed by Ames physical slapstick.

If this was an attempt to team Ames and Langdon, it was an odd one: they hardly work together on screen. Although Harry gets comparatively little screen time and during it is asked to pull off some pedestrian and uncharacteristic gags, he is still the only thing, really, that makes this short worth watching, performing little bits (like confusing the bowling ball stuck to his hand for somebody's head) with flair. Many of Langdon's Columbia shorts are underrated and quite funny if slighter than his other films. This one, however, really does him a disservice my putting him on equal footing with the comedy-impaired Elsie Ames and withholding any gags that can't be summed up as "Ouch!"

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Release Date:

26 March 1942 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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