7.8/10
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Who Done It? (1942)

Approved | | Comedy, Mystery | 6 November 1942 (USA)
Two dumb soda jerks dream of writing radio mysteries. When they try to pitch an idea at a radio station, they end up in the middle of a real murder when the station owner is killed during a broadcast.

Director:

Erle C. Kenton

Writers:

Stanley Roberts (story), Stanley Roberts (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Bud Abbott ... Chick Larkin / Voice of Himself on Radio
Lou Costello ... Mervin Q. Milgrim / Voice of Himself on Radio
Patric Knowles ... Jimmy Turner
William Gargan ... Police Lt. Lou Moran
Louise Allbritton ... Jane Little
Thomas Gomez ... Col. J.R. Andrews
William Bendix ... Detective Brannigan
Don Porter ... Art Fraser
Jerome Cowan ... Marco Heller
Mary Wickes ... Juliet Collins
Ludwig Stössel ... Dr. Anton Marek
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Storyline

Two dumb soda jerks dream of writing radio mysteries. When they try to pitch an idea at a radio station, they end up in the middle of a real murder when the station owner is killed during a broadcast.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 November 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Deux nigauds détectives See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

For a murder mystery set in a radio studio, the film certainly had its share of personalities who themselves were radio actors. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello had been introduced to the nation on "The Kate Smith Hour", and (at the time this film was made) had their own highly successful radio show. William Bendix (Detective Brannigan) was a bit player in radio at the time, but was to soon become famous for his radio show "The Life of Riley". Walter Tetley (the busboy) was an accomplished child radio actor, playing various roles on different shows including "The Great Gildersleeve" and "The Phil Harris/Alice Faye Show". Finally, William Gargan (Detective Moran) starred in his own radio show, "Barry Craig, Confidential Investigator". See more »

Goofs

When the knife is thrown into the Murder At Midnight sign, you can see it's going along a string. See more »

Quotes

Customer: What happened to my strawberry sundae?
Mervin Q. Milgrim: What's today?
Customer: Friday.
Mervin Q. Milgrim: You've got two more days to wait.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Naughty Nineties (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Murder At Midnight
25 October 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Who Done It finds our intrepid duo as soda jerks who want to be mystery writers and work on the Murder at Midnight Show. Bud and Lou go to a broadcast just in time to witness the real murder of the head of the network, Thomas Gomez.

So what do our two geniuses think to do? They decide to impersonate police officers and try and capture the criminal themselves. Interfering with a police investigation is an offense unto itself, but when Abbott and Costello do it, it's strictly for laughs.

The two cops who don't think it's that funny are William Gargan and William Bendix. Supposedly Costello was not happy with Bendix playing the dim bulb detective because he was getting more laughs than him. Mary Wickes who plays the secretary of Thomas Gomez also said she did not get along with Costello on the set.

The actual murderer turns out to be a very peripheral character who only had a couple of inconsequential lines before he's unmasked at the end. I tend to think there was probably more of his part, but it was edited out. Not that there are not a host of suspects like Patric Knowles, Jerome Cowan, Don Porter, Ludwig Stossel, and even Wickes and Louise Allbritton.

One actor who did not get any billing, but should have because he was very funny constantly getting the better of poor Costello was Walter Tetley who played the fresh mouthed young elevator operator. What he did to Costello bordered on sadism.

Who Done It is a fine slapstick burlesque of all these mystery films that all the studios were putting out back then. I guess it said that if even Abbott and Costello can solve a case anyone can.


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