7.8/10
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Who Done It? (1942)

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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1 nomination. See more awards »

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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
Edit

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 »
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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

As part of a display on telephones and communication, the Smithsonian Institute used a clip of Lou Costello trying to call in for the radio contest to demonstrate the mechanics of placing a call with an operator-run exchange. See more »

Goofs

When Juliet is telling Mervyn that he can buy her some ice cream after the radio broadcast but that she had to go take care of radio business, her voice is heard but her lips don't move. When she turns around after entering the studio, she says something, but it isn't heard. 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

Featured in 20 to 1: Big Screen Buddies (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Who Done It? (1942) ***
28 April 2008 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

Good solid comedy from Abbott and Costello, one of their better early films. Here they play two drugstore soda jerks who really want to be mystery writers for a radio show called "Murder at Midnight". They find themselves in the studio at the time an on-air murder is committed, and then they turn into amateur detectives while helping the police solve the crime.

This leads to some funny material: Lou attempts to get a drink from an uncooperative water fountain; Bud tries to answer Lou's question on "Watt's Volts?"; Lou has to serve a customer a rancid sandwich made of Limburger cheese. One of the greatest bits here is the "Alexander 2222" routine, where Lou has just five minutes to get to a pay telephone to call a nearby radio station to claim some prize money, but can't get through the line while several other patrons call Alaska, Russia, and Brazil with no trouble! Other funny sequences surround Lou and William Bendix, who plays a dopey policeman who gets himself handcuffed and then tormented by Lou; and a scheming elevator boy who continually makes a chump out of a clueless Costello by constantly playing practical jokes on him.

The film is interestingly photographed, with occasional weird angles and shadowy, noirish lighting. Best of all, here's a rare installment for the comedy duo which is totally free of any intrusive musical numbers. *** out of ****


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