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 <email@example.com>
Nikolay Gogol's play, "The Inspector General" opened in St. Petersburg, Russia. in April 1836. See more »
When Yakov first reads the note from Leza we can see it says "They are trying to kill you. Don't go near the barn." Later, when the woodchopper reads it he says "Don't go near the barn. They are trying to kill you." See more »
Your Excellency - he took bribes, he drank all my wine, he-he-he yelled out the windows, he even made love to my wife! How could... How could I doubt that he was an Inspector General?
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Danny Kaye steals the show as 'Georgi' in this Gogol comedy set somewhere in eastern Europe at some time in the 19th century that spoofs the gullibility of the masses and the venality of rulers. Kaye plays an illiterate toady of a medicine-show operator who is confused with the Emperor's "Inspector General" who is charged with the duty to root out all corruption in any village to which he is sent. The venal mayor and his coterie of dishonest city bosses are scared out of their wits as they seek to cover up their corruption from the all-knowing imperial emissary. Corrupt as they are, and scared of the consequences of being exposed, they expose Georgi (Kaye) to every peril possible -- including having to drink some of "Yakov's Golden elixir" that his boss Yakov (Walter Slezak) vends to unsuspecting suckers. He survives every danger, including bad advice from those who exploit his illiteracy.
There's much grimness in the humor, so it's not for everyone, including several references to executions -- and some about the jail. One memorable line is from one of the crooked city bosses (sorry, not an exact quote):
"They'll send us to the firing squad!"
"Don't worry. I own the factory that makes the guns."
If you can put up with such jests, then you will like this movie. Beware, though: it is not for children.
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