6.7/10
476
20 user 3 critic

A Southern Yankee (1948)

Not Rated | | Comedy, History, War | 5 August 1948 (USA)
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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.

Directors:

Edward Sedgwick, S. Sylvan Simon (uncredited)

Writers:

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

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)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

HE'S A SPY FOR BOTH SIDES! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | History | War | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

No one could figure out a simple, yet funny way to get Aubrey out of the house when he was being held captive by the angry dog. Buster Keaton, employed by MGM as a roving gag man, was called to the set, looked at the set up, and came up with the idea of removing the door hinges and letting the dog in as Aubrey got out. The most famous gag in the movie took Keaton all of five minutes to devise. Buster also contributed other gags some of which he'd done himself years earlier. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Col. Weatherby: General Watkins, this is Major Drumman.
Gen. Watkins: Well, the remarkable Drumman: the whole Southland's idol!
Aubrey Filmore: "Idle," huh? I wish I had *my* job back, too!
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Connections

Referenced in The Court Jester (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Dixie
(uncredited)
Attributed to Daniel Decatur Emmett in 1850s minstrel shows
Instrumental version heard on soundtrack under battle.
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User Reviews

Rollicking
29 July 2016 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Skelton fans should get a laugh-fest out of this nifty slice of slapstick. Seems Red's a Union-loving bellboy in the Civil War South. Through typical Skelton mishaps, he's mistaken for the South's best spy, The Grey Spider. Only instead of spying for the South, he's persuaded to do same for the Yankees. Except as a spy, he keeps switching uniforms from one side to the other. Naturally, this leads to a rollicking series of mishaps, with Red scoring more mugs and pratfalls per minute than a road racer's RPM's. But that's got nothing on the uniform changes that are faster than a hooker in a rain storm. My guess is the scripters must have gone home in a permanent daze. But don't feel bad for our hero. He does get to romance the South's most delectable magnolia, Arlene Dahl, and right away I'm wondering where I can join up on her side.

All in all, it's a fine vehicle for Red's brand of comedy. Just one thing—I always thought the War was fought on the East Coast. But now I know it was really fought inside greater LA's scrublands. Thanks MGM for setting the history books straight.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 August 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Superspion See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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