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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 »




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


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




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies. See more »


In the opening credits Fred Allen says about "Screen Treatment and screen play" that these four people are now out of work. However his own name is mentioned in the screen treatment. See more »


Fred F. Trumble Floogle: If Jack Benny ever finds out there's three hundred thousand dollars in that chair, he'll divorce Mary Livingstone and marry the chair.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Throughout the credits, a voice-over by Fred Allen ridicules the whole idea of credits with lines like "You can find names like these in any phone book." See more »


Referenced in The Jack Benny Program: Fred Allen Show (1953) See more »


Bridal Chorus
(1850) (uncredited)
From "Lohengrin"
Music by Richard Wagner
Sung by the Bendix Gang on Bill Bendix' birthday with new lyrics
Played when the wedding cake is brought in
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User Reviews

Great little bit of fun thanks to the comics involved
11 September 2008 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Although he is the master of his own flea circus, Fred Floogle has never really been able to provide for his family – gambling not really helping. When he learns that he is the long lost relative and benefactor to the estate of a recently deceased millionaire, he immediately starts living it up ahead of the inevitable inheritance. Sadly it transpires that, not only was his uncle murdered but Fred and his family has only been left some chairs and a gramophone record. Selling the chairs before listening to the record, Fred is horrified to learn that hidden in one of the chairs is not only evidence of the man's killer but also several hundred thousand dollars. Thus begins a race for Fred to find the chairs before other parties can get their hands on them.

The few comments on this site show how obscure this film now is and, not wishing to appear elite let me say that it was by chance that I stumbled across it – I saw it in the listings and taped it sight unseen. It turned out to be a good use of tape (well, digital space) because the film is a great bit of fun in the cheeky style of radio comedian Fred Allen. Never having heard of him myself, his style is very much one-liners and sharp humoured that I would often equate to routines done in vaudeville days. With this in mind it is perhaps no surprise that the plot doesn't really matter too much because as is the way with these things it is more about the laughs than the plotting. That said though the narrative does hold together pretty well while also produce not so much sketches but "chapters" that are generally very funny. The film starts with Allen berating the credits – something Naked Gun etc do in a similar fashion but was more daring in 1945 I imagine – and then continues with plenty of knowing comedy and injokes with stars guests such as Jack Benny and Don Ameche playing themselves. Narrative wise it doesn't really matter how they fit in because their bits are funny enough to stop you worrying too much. I thought not knowing who all the "stars" were would limit how funny I found it but it didn't really.

Allen carries the film and it is a shame that he appears not to have done many other films in his career because he is funny. With a quick wit that comes over with a bit of Groucho Marx and Bob Hope, he is very funny and has plenty of good lines. Barnes is sassy and smart in support and gets some good laughs as well while the guest stars generally go well. I did particularly enjoy turns from Colonna as the Psychiatrist and whoever was playing the lawyer with the manner of an undertaker. It's in the Bag is unlike to be fall into your lap without seeking it out and I'm not sure it is good enough generally to seek out but, if you see it listed somewhere then you should check it out as it is great little bit of fun, mainly thanks to the comics involved.

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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 »

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