Movie Critique – Whistling in Dixie
Stars: 3 / 5
Recommendation: A slap stick comedy with wit, humor, mystery, lost gold and every body who comes across the protagonists is a suspect leading to a trail of mishaps, bloopers and twists. If only the repetitive comedy was a little less, it would have been more enjoyable.
Whistling in Dixies is a 1942 American crime comedy film starring Red Skelton as Wally "The Fox" Benton and Ann Rutherford as Carol Lambert. This is the second of the three films series starring these two.
Wally Benton is a radio detective and an amateur crime solver. He solves the cases with help of his fiancée Carol Lambert. In this episode they venture into Georgia to help an old friend of Carol, Elamae Downs (portrayed by Diana Lewis) taking them from local mystery to hidden gold to traps to fights.
This is the first time I am watching any movie of either of the protagonists. The film is filled with all the funny bloopers that Wally lands into, his mishaps and the expressions and antics he does after an "accident" are very very comical. The chemistry between Wally and Carol is spot on and the timing of the comedy is flawless.
One of the scene in the movie shows the crime hour on radio and the various actors playing a drama. I have heard so many old time radio mystery shows in past year, always wondered how the noises in the background were made. Finally got to see how they made.
It is fun to see how they create running steps using crinkling paper or how an actor talks from a little distance to create the effect as if the voice is coming through a phone. Or even the commercial that airs during the program. All are part of the troop in that one single room at the radio station.
The script also shows what sounds need to be made, although the picture here shows a note from Carol to Red written above the script. :P
Thoroughly entertaining no doubt, but the bloopers and mishaps, repetitive slapstick comedy wear on you after a while. However the climatic scene made it up for all even though the climax fight had repeats in it.
A slap stick comedy with wit, humor, mystery, lost gold and every body who comes across the protagonists is a suspect leading a trail of mishaps, bloopers and twists. If only the repetitive comedy was a little less, it would have been more enjoyable.
1) Movie Trivia:
a. This film is sequel to the 1941 film Whistling in the Dark and is followed by the 1943 film Whistling in Brooklyn.
b. The film was adapted to radio by The Screen Guild Theater that aired on May 17 1943 with Red Skelton reprising his role.
c. In 1943, Red Skelton, made the movie I Dood It, a nod to the catch phrase Red uses in his radio show The Mean Widdle Kid.
d. Note that Marriage License is much cheaper than a Dog License…looks like marriage didn’t have a lot of merit back then.
e. Actress Ann Rutherford is shown to carry Red Skelton easily in her arms…wonder if they used any wires or something so it was easy for her to act or if she really carried him.
f. Judge George Lee (played by Guy Kibbee) quotes from Christus: a Mystery by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow, specially from Chapter VI, A Room in the Farm House and from A Psalm of Life.