2.1/10
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8 user 1 critic

X Marks the Spot (1944)

| Short
An angel-in-training has trouble watching over a careless driver, and must plead his case before the Judge Angel.

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Cast

Cast overview:
... Joe Doakes
... Guardian Angel
... The Judge
Del Sharbutt ... Narrator (voice)
Arthur W. Magee ... Himself - Commissioner of State of New Jersey Dept. of Motor Vehicles
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An angel-in-training has trouble watching over a careless driver, and must plead his case before the Judge Angel.

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Short

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The first short featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988) See more »

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The type of car Joe drives changes several times. See more »

Connections

Featured in Mr. B's Lost Shorts (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Drive safely and live long enough to win the war
16 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

This short, introduced by New Jersey's Commissioner of Something-or-Other Arthur W. Magee (who talks a lot like Arthur Q. Bryan), was made during World War Two. That is very significant in that the plea for safe driving is connected to patriotism - the soporific and indeterminate commissioner makes this explicit by saying that poor driving hampers the productivity of war workers by rendering them dead. If you're dead, you probably won't punch in on time at the aircraft plant tomorrow.

After Joe Doakes (a name which was evidently the 1940's equivalent of Joe Sixpack) demonstrates is ineptitude behind the wheel in a series of comical vignettes, the mood shifts drastically as Mr. Doakes comes a cropper at a dangerous intersection. He is then escorted by his guardian angel (who wears an academic gown and a winged mortarboard!) to the place of judgment.

There a celestial judge, who may or may not be God, interrogates the angel on how well he did or didn't look after the hapless Mr. Doakes when he was out motoring. Incidentally, the courtroom seemed to specialize in handling cases of sins committed against the motor vehicle laws of the State of New Jersey. That must be a really huge courthouse!

The angel defends his actions in a series of flashbacks showing Mr. Doakes lumbering his way through wartime New Jersey, which looks arrestingly to me like Malden, Mass. in the 1960's, when I lived there as a very small child.

Having hectored the angel for his supposed incompetence, the judge turns his wrath on Mr. Doakes, who is just now realizing that he won't be home for dinner that evening. The judge then breaks the fourth wall, calling upon us, the motoring public, to pass judgment on Mr. Doakes.

Guilty or not guilty? The jury will now deliberate....


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