HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
Butterfly Murders, The
Pimp
Feedback
Lady is a Square, The
Zack Snyder's Justice League
Dark Rendezvous
Silk Road
   
 
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  Who Done It? Radio Ga-Ga
Year: 1942
Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Louise Allbritton, Patric Knowles, William Gargan, William Bendix, Thomas Gomez, Jerome Cowan, Mary Wickes, Don Porter, Ludwig Stossel
Genre: Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: A college professor (Patric Knowles) arrives at the city's radio station to take up a job as the scriptwriter of their top-rated radio show, Murder at Midnight, but is offended when he thinks that the only reason that he has been offered the job is because he was recommended by an old girlfriend (Louise Allbritton) who works as a producer there. Meanwhile, aspiring radio writers Chick (Bud Abbott) and Mervin (Lou Costello) are working as soda jerks, but see a chance to get their work on the air when they get tickets to watch Murder at Midnight broadcast that evening. However, they're going to regret getting involved...

You know what you don't see very often nowadays? A good, old-fashioned, comedy murder-mystery. Who Done It?, written by Stanley Roberts, Edmund Joseph and John Grant from Roberts' story, is one of those in the traditional fashion, and one of Abbott and Costello's most popular films. Unlike many of their comedies, this one didn't have any musical numbers, despite being set mainly in a radio station, and the film is more fast-paced because of it. After the obligatory five minute setting up of plot and suspects, we launch straight into the gags, with no flagging until they reach the finish line.

When Chick and Mervin show up for the radio show, they have a bit of trouble getting in, but when they do they are not treated to the fictional murder they expect, but a real one, instead. The head of the radio station is killed as he is about to address the nation, electrocuted by 10,000 volts travelling through his metal chair to the microphone. Somewhat self-centredly, Chick and Mervin see this as an opportunity for fame, and they make up their minds to solve the mystery themselves by posing as detectives.

When the real detectives arrive, the boys become number one suspects and have to evade capture. Who Done It? is almost two films in one, with the murder plot running independently of Abbott and Costello's non-stop routines. The jokes are corny, with groan-inducing wordplay such as "I ordered an ice cream sundae!" "You did? What day is it today?", and there's a bit of self parody when an unimpressed Mervin turns on a radio set to hear Abbott and Costello performing "Who's on first?". I particularly like the visual gag that sees a terrified Mervin making person-shaped holes in two doors while making his escape, before becoming embedded in the wall.

Costello really throws himself about in this one, he must have endured quite a few bruises, and even gets to contribute to an acrobat act when being chased by the police. Where more could have been made of Chick and Mervin's predicament of being budding writers of fiction caught up in a real murder, nevertheless the story is pretty much a showcase for a long series of jokes, some more elaborate than others: the telephone box with the weird callers and the unobtainable number, for example. There may be as many misses as hits, but this is brisk entertainment, with a good, culturally interesting setting and a first rate supporting cast. Music by Frank Skinner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6189 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Erle C. Kenton  (1896 - 1980)

American director who made over 100 films in a 50 year career. Worked as a bit-part actor before making his feature debut in 1919, and was best known for directing comedies, including two of Abbott & Costello’s best films – Pardon My Sarong and Who Done It?. Kenton also proved adept in the horror genre, directing the 1933 classic Island of Lost Souls, with Charles Laughton, as well as House of Dracula, Ghost of Frankenstein and The Cat Creeps. Died from Parkinson's disease in 1980.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: