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Murder, He Says (1945)

A pollster stumbles on a family of murderous hillbillies, and joins in their search for hidden treasure.


George Marshall


Lou Breslow (screen play), Jack Moffitt (story)


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Complete credited cast:
Fred MacMurray ... Pete Marshall
Helen Walker ... Claire Matthews
Marjorie Main ... Mamie Fleagle Smithers Johnson
Jean Heather ... Elany Fleagle
Porter Hall ... Mr. Johnson
Peter Whitney ... Mert Fleagle / Bert Fleagle
Mabel Paige ... Grandma Fleagle
Barbara Pepper ... Bonnie Fleagle


Trotter pollster Pete Marshall is trying to find a missing coworker. In a rural town he stumbles onto the roughian Fleagle family. Bert and Mert would just as soon "splatter" snoopers with their rifles. However, Ma Johnson focuses the family energies on finding cousin Bonnie Fleagle's $70,000 bank job stash, somewhere around the large old rickety house. Claire Matthews, the daughter of a man implicated in Bonnie's bank job, also comes in search of the money to try and clear her father's name. Marshall and Matthews team up to try and decode Grandma Fleagle's strange deathbed clue but with Mr. Johnson attempting to poison people and Bonnie Fleagle showing up herself after a prison escape, it's anybody's guess as to who will find the money first. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


NUTTY...as a...FRUIT CAKE! (original poster) See more »









Release Date:

23 June 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ninho da Serpente See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures 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?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its first documented telecast took place in Seattle Friday 3 April 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7), and it soon became a popular local favorite as it was first shown in Omaha 13 May 1959 on KETV (Channel 7), in New York City 5 September 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Detroit 21 September 1959 on WJBK (Channel 2), in Grand Rapids 22 September 1959 on WOOD (Channel 8), in Pittsburgh 27 October 1959 on KDKA (Channel 2), in Milwaukee 12 November 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), in Phoenix 16 November 1959 on KVAR (Channel 12), in both Toledo and Indianapolis 22 December 1959, on WTOL (Channel 11), and WFBM (Channel 6), in San Francisco 29 December 1959 on KPIX (Channel 5), in Lowell MA (serving Boston) 10 May 1960 on WBZ (Channel 4), and, finally, in Los Angeles 16 November 1960 on KNXT (Channel 2). It was released on DVD 15 November 2011 by TCM as part of their Universal Collection and, since that time, has also enjoyed an occasional airing on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies. See more »


MacMurray and Walker share an on screen romance, but they never actually kiss each other. In some close ups of MacMurray's left hand, you will notice that he is wearing his wedding ring during the course of the film. See more »


Pete Marshall: It's like looking for a needle in a... a slaughter house.
See more »


Referenced in The Unruly Hare (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

Fred MacMurray standing in for Bob Hope
22 June 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I've seen Murder He Says many times and it's a pretty funny film. Fred MacMurray had never done that kind of belly laugh comedy before and I'm sure that Walt Disney must have screened this film and that he was certainly capable of it when he made him Disney's number one male star starting with The Shaggy Dog.

But every time I watch it, I keep thinking this was a property developed for Bob Hope. All of the mixed up adventures with this rube Fliegle family are pure Hope. Imagine Hope instead of Fred MacMurray in the lead and I'm sure you'll agree with me.

My guess is that Hope was busy entertaining the troops and Paramount had this thing ready to go and prevailed upon another of their contract players to step in.

As a pinch hitter though, Fred MacMurray batted in a big old home run with this one.

By the way that tune that is the key to where the buried treasure is will be rattling around in your brain for weeks.

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