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The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947)

Approved | | Comedy | 4 April 1947 (USA)
Twenty years after his triumphs as a freshman on the football field, Harold is a mild-mannered clerk who dreams about marrying the girl at the desk down the aisle. But losing his job ... See full summary »

Director:

Preston Sturges

Writer:

Preston Sturges (original screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harold Lloyd ... Harold Diddlebock
Jimmy Conlin Jimmy Conlin ... Wormy
Raymond Walburn ... E.J. Waggleberry
Rudy Vallee ... Lynn Sargent
Edgar Kennedy ... Jake the Bartender
Arline Judge ... Manicurist
Franklin Pangborn ... Formfit Franklin
Lionel Stander ... Max
Margaret Hamilton ... Flora
Jack Norton ... James R. Smoke
Robert Dudley ... Robert McDuffy
Arthur Hoyt ... J.P. Blackstone
Julius Tannen ... Nearsighted Banker
Al Bridge ... Wild Bill Hickock
Robert Greig ... Algernon McNiff
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Storyline

Twenty years after his triumphs as a freshman on the football field, Harold is a mild-mannered clerk who dreams about marrying the girl at the desk down the aisle. But losing his job destroys that dream, and when he finds a particularly potent drink at his local bar, he goes on a very strange and funny rampage (with a lion in tow). Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Yes Sir! Wednesday was WILD! Wednesday was RUGGED! THE WILDEST WACKIEST MOST HILARIOUS AND COMPLETELY BOLLIXED-UP DAY YOU EVER HEARD OF! (original print ad - mostly caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 April 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mad Wednesday See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,712,959 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

California Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1950 re-release) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

It was Howard Hughes, Preston Sturges' partner in California Pictures Corporation, who re-cut the film and retitled it "Mad Wednesday" - not Columbia Pictures chief Harry Cohn, as has long been believed. See more »

Goofs

When Diddlebock reaches for Jackie's lead with his foot and knocks it over the edge, Jackie is standing up close to the wall. The next shot immediately after shows Jackie sitting down. See more »

Quotes

Harold Diddlebock: He who lendeth money, endeth friendship.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"... and for the first time a young girl called Frances Ramsden playing the youngest Miss Otis" See more »

Connections

Featured in Icons of Comedy: 50 Movie Mega Pack (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

America, the Beautiful
(uncredited)
Music by Samuel A. Ward
Played during the presidential calendar montage
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sturges On The Decline
12 August 2006 | by Geoffrey ParfittSee all my reviews

Between 1940 and 1944, Preston Sturges wrote and directed some of the best film comedy ever produced. His eight movies for that short period are all good, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that four of the eight have the touch of brilliance.

This sequence of movies came to an end when Sturges left Paramount following what he legitimately saw as increasing interference by studio bosses. His high stature at the studio hadn't prevented two of his movies from being taken out of his hands and re-cut against his wishes, one of which - The Great Moment - was never restored to the movie Sturges intended.

At this point, Sturges declined to join a rival studio, and instead formed a partnership with Howard Hughes, hoping to protect his future movies from the interference he could see was becoming more common within the studio system. However, for a combination of reasons, this partnership with Hughes was not a success, and the only film Sturges produces in that period - The Sin of Harold Diddlebock - shows a decline in his work.

The whole look and sound of the movie is inferior. It is impossible to know whether this decline was the result of an inevitable burn-out in his ability after such sustained success, or the absence of support and quality control that Paramount had applied to the benefit of the wonderful movies that had come before.

So... to "Diddlebock" itself! It is difficult to identify why it isn't as funny as we might expect. The film was created as a star vehicle for Harold Lloyd, and by all accounts his comedy instincts did not match those of Sturges. As much as Stuges tried, clearly such a big talent and personality as Lloyd was never going to completely submit to direction with which he didn't agree, and there must be some evidence of that in what we see on screen.

There is a complete lack of the 'sparkle' we have come to expect. The familiar faces around Lloyd remind us of the great Sturges movies, but to me this is like an inferior pastiche of a Sturges movie by a lesser hand, without such a reliable instinct for film comedy. But perhaps that describes what Preston Sturges had become in such a short time.


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