4 user 1 critic

To Heir Is Human (1944)

Approved | | Comedy, Short | 14 January 1944 (USA)
Harry finds out he is the missing heir to an estate, and is summoned to an old, spooky mansion to collect his inheritance.



(story and screenplay) (as Monty Collins), (story and screenplay)


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Credited cast:
... Una
... Harry Fenner
... Velma, Harry's Kissing Cousin
... Bobo
Lew Kelly ... A. Raven Sparrow
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
... Board Chairman
... Dr. I. M. Calm, who isn't


This Columbia short has Una Merkel and Harry Langdon billed above the title, in that order, with Harold Godsoe(who was an assistant director at Columbia and has no other director's credit on an American-made film) as the ONLY credited director on the film credits. Harry Edwards appears nowhere on this film's credits as the director. The first-billed Una Merkel has a job delivering telephone books, and is booted into, by Dr. I. M. Calm, the empty office across the hall of a Missing Persons Bureau. One A. Raven Sparrow (Lew Kelly, in his usual what-if-Boris Karloff went-really-looney tunes act) enters and offers her a thousand dollars to find a missing heir to a fortune, Harry Fenner (Harry Langdon.) Since this short runs less than twenty minutes, she is fortunate to find him washing the office windows. They make their way to the estate and find that "Uncle" Sparrow, his niece Velma (Christine McIntyre) and handyman-goon Bobo (Eddie Gribbon), who may or may not be related to anybody, ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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A comedy of errors you'll roar at! [Title card] See more »


Comedy | Short


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 January 1944 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Una Merkel Gets a Rough Welcome to the Columbia Shorts Department
3 September 2016 | by See all my reviews

Una Merkel locates Harry Langdon, heir to a fortune and a mansion. However, relatives Christine MacIntyre, Lew Kelly and Eddie Gribbon have other ideas for the estate in this Columbia comedy short.

This one seems to have a larger budget than most in the unit; for one thing, it has incidental music. Producer Hugh McCollum always seemed to get more out of his movies than Jules White, probably because he let his talent have their heads. In this one, although it's Langdon's series, it's Una Merkel who gets to run through most of the slapstick gags -- Harry would turn 60 the year this was made, and die before it was over. It's Kelly and MacIntyre who get the best laughs, however, as two of the creepy would-be murderers.

The result is a typical-looking production for Jules White's unit, with many of the standard gags, aided by Harry's slow-reacting character. He plays well with Una, but nothing came of it in the long run: just another paycheck for some real talent, who did the gags and moved on to the next job.

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