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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.


Richard Wallace


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


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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


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




Passed | See all certifications »






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


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Eve Floogle: My mother always told me I should never marry a flea trainer.
Fred F. Trumble Floogle: And that's the matter with flea trainers?
Eve Floogle: You tell him, Homer.
Homer Floogle: I just read an article about that.
Fred F. Trumble Floogle: And?
Homer Floogle: It came to the following interesting conclusion.
Fred F. Trumble Floogle: Yeah?
Homer Floogle: A: Eighty-three percent of flea trainers are of definitely low mentality. B: Sixteen percent were classified as morons...
Fred F. Trumble Floogle: [interrupts, about to hit Homer with his cane] Why, for two pennies, I'd...
Homer Floogle: Uh uh! Dad! How many times have I told you? Striking your own child denotes a ...
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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 »


Featured in Maltin on Movies: Identity Thief (2013) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Fleas and the ingenious mouse trap.
13 July 2009 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Fred F. Trumble Floogle is the owner of a less than successful flea-circus. Struggling to pay his gambling debts, Trumble is most delighted when it's announced he has inherited a substantial amount of money from a recently slain relative. Jumping straight into the rich mans life style with his family, it's a shock when the dubious suit brigade tell him that all the inheritance money has been dissipated, thus sending the Trumble's into even worse poverty than before. But salvation comes in the form of a phonograph record, which on its reverse side has a message from the grave. It seems that $300,000 is hidden in one of the five chairs that Trumble got from the initial will reading. Trouble is is that his son has just gone and sold the chairs to a dealer, who in turn has sold them on to various people.

I'm not at all familiar with the works of radio star Fred Allen {Fred Trumble}, so going into this film blind as to his style of comedy was a bit of a gamble. Happily I can report that It's In The Bag, and Allen himself were a comedic joy. Backed up by the likes of Jack Benny, William Bendix, John Carradine, Rudy Vallee, Don Ameche and Victor Moore-Allen and the ensemble deliver quick wit and skits to laugh yourself hoarse with. There are some far better reviews of this film available on this site, ie: those more familiar with Allen and his influences, so I would urge interested parties to seek them out. For myself I just loved what I watched, skits around trying to get cinema seats and one involving William Bendix playing against type are excellent, whilst I barely contained my joy during a sequence as Don Ameche recites poetry during a riot. Full of gags both visual and oral, It's In The Bag comes highly recommended to those that enjoy old time comedy with a sharp and prickly edge to it. 8/10

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