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It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World starring Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Phil Silvers, Jonathan Winters

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

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Review of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World starring Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Phil Silvers, Jonathan Winters,

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World is a manic, hilarious, slapstick movie. It starred some of the greatest movie clowns of their time …. And more cameos than you can shake a stick at.  

The basic plot involves a dying thief (Jimmy Durante) who tells a small group of bystanders where to find the hidden money from his last bank job.   These individuals then embark on a treasure hunt of sorts, and the madcap fun begins!   The initially small group grows. Until nearly a dozen people are looking for the treasure. The movie quickly turns into a slapstick farce. The various people compete to be the first to the location.   And those people the funniest comedians and film clowns of their time. In addition, virtually every other major comedian or clown puts in a cameo appearance in the film.

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Bean the Movie [Rowan Atkinson]

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 Bean: The Movie (1997) starring Rowan Atkinson, Peter MacNicol

In Bean, Rowan Atkinson’s clown character Mr. Bean plays the part of a sleepy watchman at an art museum. He’s sent to America to watch the famous painting, Whistler’s Mother. The reason they sent them is because of his constant causing trouble without trying. Once in America, he does the same with the “foster family” that he’s staying with. And, he inadvertently destroys a famous work of art …

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Watch the Birdie [Red Skelton]

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Watch the Birdie (1950) starring Red Skelton, Arlene Dahl, Ann Miller

 In Watch The Birdie, Red Skelton plays his normal lovable klutz (Rusty Cammeron), who runs a camera shop with him father (also played by Red Skelton, using his Newton J. Numbskull character) — and his grandfather (also played by Red, in a variation on his San Fernando Red Character). However, between the three of them, the store is nearly bankrupt, owing over $1,100 (a large sum in 1950).

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Son of Paleface

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Son of Paleface (1952) starring Bob Hope, Jane Russell, Roy Rogers

Movie review of Son of Paleface.  Bob Hope‘s sequel to Paleface, again co-starring Jane Russell – as the son of the original Paleface, doing a screwball comedy set in the old American West.  It’s vintage Bob Hope, and that’s saying quite a bit.   A very funny movie, and well worth watching.

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Excuse My Dust [Red Skelton]

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Excuse My Dust  (1951) starring Red Skelton, Sally Forrest, MacDonald Carey, William Demarest

Excuse My Dust is a musical vehicle for Red Skelton, set in 1895, that deals with the issues of progress and the resistance to it.   It stars  Red Skelton as Joe Belden, a young inventor who’s determined to build a “horseless carriage”.  This complicates things, since he’s in love with Liz Bullitt (Sally Forrest), whose father (played by  William Demarest, best remembered for his role of Uncle Charlie on  My Three Sons) runs the local livery stable, and sees the €œhorseless carriage € as a threat to his livelihood.

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Whistling in Brooklyn [Red Skelton]

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Whistling in Brooklyn (1943) starring Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford, Rags Ragland

Movie review of Red Skelton’s third, and final, appearance as Wally Benton, aka. The Fox, a radio personality and amateur detective. In this installment, The Fox is still trying to marry his fiancee. But he’s on the run from the police after being blamed for the murders of the mysterious “Constant Reader”. Danger and comedy in equal parts, with an appearance by the Brooklyn Dodgers as well!

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Merton of the Movies

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Movie review of Merton of the Movies (1947), starring Red Skelton, Virginia O’Brien

Merton of the Movies is set in the silent movie era of Hollywood. Red Skelton plays the part of Gil Merton, a naive, movie-struck young man. He’s given a chance to be a star…. But he doesn’t realize it. A very funny, and sweet, Red Skelton movie co-starring Virginia O’Brien.

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Whistling in Dixie

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 Red Skelton in a publicity photo for Whistling in Dixie, with the lovely Diana Lewis and Ann Rutherford

Whistling in Dixie (1942) starring Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford, Rags Ragland

Whistling in Dixie is the sequel to the popular Whistling in the Dark.  Red Skelton again plays the role of Wally Benton, €˜aka. The Fox. He’s a radio detective, who simply wants to take off two weeks of vacation so he can get married. To his long-suffering fiancee Carol Lambert (played by Ann Rutherford).   Wally pretends to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown in order to twist his radio sponsor’s arm in order to get that vacation. Only to have Carol change their plans when she’s contacted by Ellamae (Diana Lewis), her sorority sister from Georgia, U.S.A. Ellamae’s boyfriend appears to have been murdered.   Carol convinces Wally to go down to Georgia to get married, and Wally complies. Only to get involved in the unraveling mystery.

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A Southern Yankee

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Movie review of A Southern Yankee (1948) starring Red Skelton, Arlene Dahl, Brian Donlevy

 A Southern Yankee is a very funny movie, set at the tail end of the American Civil War. Red Skelton plays the role of Aubrey Filmore, an inept bellboy at a Northern hotel. He manages to catch €œthe Grey Spider €, a very famous (and dangerous) Southern spy.  

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