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Just What I Needed (1955)

Approved | | Short, Comedy | 16 April 1955 (USA)
Humorous take on "unwanted" gifts.


Dave O'Brien (as David Barclay)


Joe Ansen (screen play), Joe Ansen (story) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Pete Smith ... Narrator (voice)
Dave O'Brien ... The Fall Guy / Harry Horseknuckle


This MGM short film, part of the Pete Smith Specialty series, looks at what to do with unwelcome gifts. Harry Horseknucle's rich aunt who always remembers his birthday. He receives a mobile but can't quite understand what it all means. Among the things he can do without there's also an electric toaster, tools from his wife, an old trunk bought at a blind auction and a motorcycle. Written by garykmcd

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Short | Comedy



Did You Know?


Harry Horseknuckle breaks the right front leg of a kitchen chair so he can make a replacement using his new tool chest. In the next scene, he replaces the left front chair leg. See more »

User Reviews

Lacks what made Pete Smith shorts so exceptional...
27 December 2018 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

...and that is an abundance of exaggerated but familiar situations. This one simply has too many things that cannot happen for it to stand up to Smith's best work.

This short is about Christmas gifts that are either useless or cause more problems than they solve. Here Pete Smith short stalwart Dave O'Brien is once again the mute star of the show as a man who has received a bunch of bum Christmas gifts. One is a tasteless mobile whose theme is income tax. Whoever came up with the design of this should have gotten a raise from MGM. Another is a tool chest from the wife, but there is nothing to fix. O'Brien winds up destroying a chair trying to fix it. Then he buys a locked chest at an auction. Unable to open the lock he decides to....drop it from high place and bust it open? Wouldn't this have been the time to use the saw in the wife's toolkit and bust the lock that way? I knew there was a producer named Marx that worked at the studio at the time, but I don't think his first name was Groucho!

There are other gifts and situations, but they involve things that are probably a scientific impossibility. However the ever expressive David O'Brien is always worth watching.

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Release Date:

16 April 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pete Smith Specialty: Just What I Needed See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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