Aubrey Filmore (Red Skelton) is a bumbling bellboy in a Missouri town who pesters the Union officers there; he desperately wants to be a spy for the North in the American Civil War. When Filmore accidentally waylays an infamous Confederate spy known as "The Grey Spider" and is mistaken for him by the Rebels, the Union brass see it as an opportunity for real espionage - and though Filmore is a coward as well as a fool, his real motivation for derring-do is a sweet Southern girl named Sallyann, whom he will see again behind Southern lines.Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The scene where Civil War spy Lloyd Gough listens to battle plans from the second floor flu was reused by John Ford in "The Horse Soldiers,' when Constance Towers and Althea Gibson listen to John Wayne and his officers plotting strategy until they're caught by William Holden. Brian Donlevy catches Gough spying in this film. See more »
The identity of the Gray Spider is allegedly only known by Generals Lee, Johnson, and Jackson. Stonewall Jackson had actually died two years earlier in 1863. See more »
18th Century Anglo-American song
Used as leitmotif under main titles and in association with Northern cause. See more »
Not a remake of The General-- keep that in mind
THE GENERAL is my favorite movie of all time while Red Skelton is not a favorite of mine (I don't hate him, he's just not my cup of tea), so I am ashamed to admit I went into A SOUTHERN YANKEE fully expecting to hate it. To my surprise, it was not bad.
Though often called a "remake" of the Buster Keaton classic, A SOUTHERN YANKEE's plot is entirely different: Skelton plays a bellboy/aspiring secret agent who bumbles onto a real Confederate spy plot. General farce ensues, with only a few gags lifted from Keaton's earlier film. For what it is, A SOUTHERN YANKEE is quite enjoyable. Even some of the dumber gags had me howling.
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