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Wonder Man (1945)

Approved | | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical | 1945 (UK)
After being murdered by gangsters, an exuberant nightclub entertainer returns as a ghost to persuade his meek twin brother to help bring his killers to justice.

Director:

H. Bruce Humberstone (as Bruce Humberstone)

Writers:

Don Hartman (screenplay), Melville Shavelson (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny Kaye ... Edwin Dingle / Buzzy Bellew
Virginia Mayo ... Ellen Shanley
Vera-Ellen ... Midge Mallon
Donald Woods ... Monte Rossen
S.Z. Sakall ... Schmidt
Allen Jenkins ... Chimp
Edward Brophy ... Torso
Steve Cochran ... Ten Grand Jackson
Otto Kruger ... District Attorney
Richard Lane ... Assistant District Attorney
Natalie Schafer ... Mrs. Hume
Huntz Hall ... Sailor
Virginia Gilmore ... Sailor's Girl Friend
Edward Gargan ... Policeman in Park (as Ed Gargan)
Alice Mock Alice Mock ... Prima Donna
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Storyline

Boisterous nightclub entertainer Buzzy Bellew was the witness to a murder committed by gangster Ten Grand Jackson. One night, two of Jackson's thugs kill Buzzy and dump his body in the lake at Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Buzzy comes back as a ghost and summons his bookworm twin, Edwin Dingle, to Prospect Park so that he can help the police nail Jackson. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>, corrected by dondeanadelaney@gmail.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Gala-Gala with Girls, Gaiety and that Goldwyn Glamour! (original poster)


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

1945 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Un hombre fenómeno See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The giant vases in the set of the Pelican Club were a last-minute inspiration of art director Ernst Fegté. He had originally commissioned legendary sculptor Tony Duquette to do large statues for the set, but producer Samuel Goldwyn, who'd approved the sketches of Duquette's sculptures, decided he didn't like them once they were actually built. Eventually, Fegté arranged to sell Duquette's sculptures to MGM and thought of using the giant vases to replace them. See more »

Goofs

For a couple of shots during their encounter at Prospect Park, it's obviously a body double for Danny Kaye as Buzzy. See more »

Quotes

District Attorney: Your story is satisfactory except for a few minor details.
Edwin Dingle: Well, it was quite dark and I may have slipped up on one or two points.
District Attorney: Yes, in the first place, the tall, thin man with the red beard was a short, fat, fan dancer named Chu-Chu LaVerne!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits: This Is Overseas Program no. 913 TO FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN: Pictures exhibited in this theatre are given to the armed forces for showing in combat areas around the world. WAR ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE MOTION PICTURE INDUSTRY See more »

Connections

Featured in The Playboys (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Bali Boogie
(1945)
Music and Lyrics by Sylvia Fine
Performed by Danny Kaye (uncredited) and Vera-Ellen (uncredited) (dubbed by June Hutton (uncredited))
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Kaye's Klassik!
19 September 2004 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

This has always been my favourite Danny Kaye movie, it sustains the humour and story up to the end pretty well. All of his films are a roller-coaster for me: helpless tearful laughter one second, grim pained winces next, and WM is no exception to this rule, even though I love it. Perhaps he only needed a little more ... discipline in his comedy routines, to know when to stop, maybe at the 3rd joke stopped sneeze in a row etc. Sylvia Fine could have been a bigger help in this regard of course. On the other hand maybe we should be grateful for what we've got, and anyway in the end who'd really have wanted him any other way?

It may seem a little rough for the charismatic Buzzy Bellew to get murdered and come back as a ghost seeking proxy justice through the intermediary of his mono-zygotic twin brother Edwin Dingle, both comically played by Kaye. But this was just after the War and people generally weren't too sensitive at that point and didn't normally morbidly dwell on Sam Goldwyn's Technicolor fantasies. And that's basically all there is to it, a fine cast make the most of a good script. The special effects are OK but Time has wreaked its usual havoc on the actual film itself, and technology has also ruined us in the intervening years.

Favorite bits: Kaye repeatedly asking Cuddles in the delicatessen for a pint of Prospect Park; Kaye pretending he was in a pet shop (not a theatre) over the phone to Virginia Mayo; the sudden change into an operatic tenor; hearing Richard Lane's voice scything through everything. Bad bits: the Goldwyn Girls' one scene - no wonder Mayo stood out! The gaps in the mortals' conversation for the ghost to speak his lines was also too apparent - but hey, I said that I love this film!


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