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The Inspector General (1949)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 31 December 1949 (USA)
A town's corrupt officials think a fool is actually an investigator in disguise.

Director:

Henry Koster

Writers:

Philip Rapp (screenplay), Harry Kurnitz (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Danny Kaye ... Georgi
Walter Slezak ... Yakov
Barbara Bates ... Leza
Elsa Lanchester ... Maria
Gene Lockhart ... The Mayor
Alan Hale ... Kovatch
Walter Catlett ... Col. Castine
Rhys Williams ... Inspector General
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Storyline

An illiterate stooge in a traveling medicine show wanders into a strange town and is picked up on a vagrancy charge. The town's corrupt officials mistake him for the inspector general whom they think is traveling in disguise. Fearing he will discover they've been pocketing tax money, they make several bungled attempts to kill him. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 December 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Happy Times See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Near the beginning of the movie Leza (Barbara Bates) is tightening the corset of Maria (Elsa Lanchester. Maria demands that Leza tighten the corset more and Leza explains that it's already tight. After Maria leaves, another character comments that Leza was correct and the corset was too tight: "it makes her eyes bug out." This was an inside joke, since Elsa Lanchester's eyes were somewhat protuberant. See more »

Goofs

When Otto the dog offers Georgi the food, the dog's shadow is directly towards Georgi. In the next longer shot, both the dog's and Georgi's shadows are in the completely opposite direction. See more »

Quotes

Georgi: Be big, be strong, be firm, says Yakov! But if it doesn't work - whose neck will they jerk? Whose block will they knock off? Not Yakov. Be an Inspector General... What does an Inspector General do, inspect generals? No. An Inspector General generally inspects, that is... they expect him to inspect generally; if they're inspecting an Inspector General. But an exceptionally generous Inspector General who made an exception and had no inspection, would cause suspicion, which in my condition, I ...
See more »

Connections

Version of Afsar (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Soliloquy for Three Heads
(1949) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Sylvia Fine
Performed by Danny Kaye
See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful Movie with Complementing Actors
3 November 2006 | by darkwing_karnageSee all my reviews

Watching this was enjoyable. The movie started off somewhat slowly, and took its time picking up the pace. However, the pace quickly picked up speed when Danny Kaye came on screen. This is partly because his partner shows up at the same time. Walter Slezak does a fantastic job of contrasting Kaye throughout the movie, but more of that later.

Danny Kaye's performance here is not quite as seamless as many. He does not seem to have the same audacity he displays in later movies, such as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Court Jester. It is also different in that, although it includes the usual confusion, plot twists, and multiplicity of plans going on at once, these elements are not executed as beautifully as in, for example, The Court Jester. Thus these scenes become comedic background, still enjoyable to watch, but not the masterpiece one may have become accustomed to. However, the movie was far from terrible. There were moments which, as I watched them, made me think, "That's so Danny Kaye." He has many of the same mannerisms and little twitches that make him so much fun to watch, along with an array of songs that would tie a normal tongue in knots. He looks quite dashing in his military uniform, and his character's innocence is just so much fun to see in Danny Kaye's brilliant blue eyes.

His character (Georgi) is also contrasted masterfully with Slezak's (Yakov), making this movie a success. Yakov is so mean to poor Georgi (as well as everyone else) that the viewer simply must fall in love with the poor boy. Kaye plays a young man, very nearly a boy, while Yakov is so jaded and immoral. It is Yakov's cruelty to Georgi that endears Kaye's character to the viewer.

To sum up, The Inspector General is a lighthearted movie involving superb writing, excellent juxtaposition, and a wonderful star and supporting villain.


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