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It's in the Bag! (1945)

Passed | | Comedy | 21 April 1945 (USA)
The ringmaster of a flea circus inherits a fortune...if he can find which chair it's hidden in.

Director:

Richard Wallace

Writers:

Lewis R. Foster (screen treatment), Fred Allen (screen treatment) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred Allen ... Fred F. Trumble Floogle
Jack Benny ... Jack Benny
Don Ameche ... Don Ameche
William Bendix ... William Bendix
Victor Moore ... Victor Moore
Rudy Vallee ... Rudy Vallee
Binnie Barnes ... Eve Floogle
Robert Benchley ... Parker
Jerry Colonna ... Dr. Greengrass - Psychiatrist
John Carradine ... Jefferson T. Pike
Gloria Pope Gloria Pope ... Marion Floogle
William Terry ... Perry Parker
Minerva Pious Minerva Pious ... Mrs. Pansy Nussbaum
Richard Tyler Richard Tyler ... Homer Floogle (as Dickie Tyler)
Sidney Toler ... Detective Sully
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Storyline

Wealthy Frederick Trumble makes an eccentric new will, secretes much of his wealth in a chair, then, within seconds, is murdered. The new heir, Fred Floogle, runs a flea circus. Of course, the reputed $12 million inheritance goes to his family's heads...then proves to consist of five chairs, which the disgusted Floogle sells just before discovering their secret. Packed with wisecracks, strange cameos, and nothing-sacred, anything-goes digressions. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fred's Bagged The Best For His Merry 12 Million Dollar Murder Mystery!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fickle Fortune See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Manhattan Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In the original screenplay Fred Allen's character was supposed to comment and explain the situations in a voice-over, just like he did with the opening credits. However, the idea was eventually dropped. See more »

Goofs

When Parker is showing the Floogles his son's mousetrap he shows how the entry teeter board works by moving it. After a cut to the Floogles and back to Parker, he's moving the teeter board the same way again. See more »

Quotes

Homer Floogle: Dad, you wanna buy a Delicatessen in the Bronx?
Fred F. Trumble Floogle: No, we are not making any foreign investments.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the final card at the end of the movie, Fred Allen breaks the fourth wall one more time and says to the audience "Folks, you've got to come back to the next show, immediate seats on the inside." See more »

Connections

Version of Mein Opa und die 13 Stühle (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Song of the Volga Boat Men
(uncredited)
Traditional
[Played when Fred is carrying Bill Bendix down to the river]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fred Finds His Fortune
31 December 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

For anyone who is considering a career as a comedian, It's In The Bag should be required viewing. For the rest of us it gives us many laughs and it's the one and only opportunity to see Fred Allen's talents on full display.

Allen's brand of absurdist humor has influenced so many people right down to today. You can see traces of his influence in Rowan&Martin's Laugh-In, the Mighty Carson Art Players from the Tonight Show and even Monty Python's Flying Circus and may be most of all the work of Mel Brooks on the screen. Because the cinema of necessity a tightly controlled script is in order, one aspect of Allen you don't see was his quick wit with an ad-lib. Some even consider him faster with a quip than Groucho Marx.

The premise for this film is that Fred is the financially strapped owner of a flea circus, owing everybody in town including bookie Ben Welden and barely supporting wife Binnie Barnes and children Gloria Pope and Richard Tyler. A long unheard of uncle however is murdered and the uncle left Allen a set of five chairs.

Our genius of a hero sells them off before a phonograph record from his late uncle tells him that $300,000.00 is hidden in one of the chairs together with clues as to who murdered him. Of course the perpetrators are shadowing Allen's every move as he seeks to retrieve the chairs from their new owners and find his fortune in the lining.

The whole thing is an excuse for several skits as Allen goes on his quest for the chairs. One of the chairs was sold to Minerva Pious who is Mrs. Nussbaum and a regular on Allen's radio show. She happened to sell the chair to one Jack Benny.

Benny's character as a miser has become so ingrained in the American culture that even today people who've heard the name know that about him and can appreciate the cheap jokes. What they might not realize is that Jack Benny and Fred Allen engaged in one of the great famous radio feuds so that dimension of the scene with Fred Allen might be lost.

Another couple of chairs goes to a nightclub where folks like Don Ameche, Rudy Vallee, and Victor Moore are picking up some extra money as singing waiters. Another goes to William Bendix, head of the criminal Bendix gang. Bendix is terrific burlesquing his own tough guy image and John Carradine who played many a sinister role on screen looks like he's having a ball playing a crooked lawyer.

Even Jerry Colonna is in this film, on loan from Bob Hope's radio show playing a zany psychiatrist. There is so much in It's In The Bag packed into less than 90 minutes you can hardly stop for breath.

This film is a rare comic treat and should never be missed when broadcast. Demand TCM acquire this film and broadcast it.


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