20 user 3 critic

A Southern Yankee (1948)

Not Rated | | Comedy, History, War | 5 August 1948 (USA)
2:15 | Trailer
A hapless bellboy in a St. Louis hotel near the end of the Civil War is recruited by the Union secret service to impersonate a notorious Confederate spy.


Edward Sedgwick, S. Sylvan Simon (uncredited)


Melvin Frank (story), Norman Panama (story) | 1 more credit »





Credited cast:
Red Skelton ... Aubrey Filmore
Brian Donlevy ... Kurt Devlynn
Arlene Dahl ... Sallyann Weatharby
George Coulouris ... Maj. Jack Drumman aka The Grey Spider
Lloyd Gough ... Capt. Steve Lorford
John Ireland ... Capt. Jed Calbern
Minor Watson ... Gen. Watkins
Charles Dingle ... Col. Weatherby
Art Baker ... Col. Clifford M. Baker
Reed Hadley ... Fred Munsey
Arthur Space ... Mark Haskins
Joyce Compton ... Hortense Dobson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Byron Foulger ... Mr. Duncan (scenes deleted)
Edward Gargan ... Male Nurse (scenes deleted)
Bert Moorhouse ... Capt. Jeffreys (scenes deleted)


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 <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What's Rhett Butler Got That Red Skelton Ain't Got? See more »


Comedy | History | War | Western


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


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 »


Col. Clifford M. Baker: The paper's in the pocket of the boot with the buckle. The map's in the packet in the pocket of the jacket. Understand?
Aubrey Filmore: Hmm?
Col. Clifford M. Baker: And if you get them mixed up, you're a dead goose.
Aubrey Filmore: Oh, well let's see now. The paper's in the pocket of the macket with a jacket, and the . . No, I see, the packet's in the . .
See more »


References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »


Yankee Doodle
18th Century Anglo-American song
Used as leitmotif under main titles and in association with Northern cause.
See more »

User Reviews

Not a remake of The General-- keep that in mind
16 April 2020 | by MissSimonettaSee all my reviews

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.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

5 August 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Superspion See more »


Box Office


$1,482,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed