THE DEVIL WITH HITLER (1942)
aka Nazty Nuisance
Article 1836 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-25-2006
Posting Date: 8-22-2006
Directed by Gordon Douglas and Glenn Tryon
Featuring Alan Mowbray, Bobby Watson, George E. Stone
The devil, fearful of losing his job to that upstart Hitler, tries to assuage the fears of his board of directors by tricking Hitler into performing a good deed.
All right, here’s a concept for you – imagine a Three Stooges comedy only substituting the characters of Moe, Curly and Larry with Hitler, Mussolini and a Japanese general. If you can get your mind around that, you’ll be in pretty good shape for taking on this truly strange comedy. The original movie runs only 44 minutes, but mine is significantly longer; this is because another short has been edited into it – its sequel, NAZTY NUISANCE, which features the same trio of actors doing the same kind of schtick. Hitler is played by Bobby Watson, who assayed the character several times in his career, and not always comically. Mussolini is played by Joe Devlin, who also played that same character multiple times; imagine Curly with a Chico Marx accent, and you have an idea of how the character was played. The Japanese General (with the unflattering name of General Suki Yaki) was played by George E. Stone. The basic point of the whole movie is simple; let’s see how many indignities we can heap onto these three personalities in eighty-five minutes.
For what it’s worth, the slice of wartime propaganda gets by with me by dint of sheer chutzpah. During this movie, you will be treated to such visions as –
-Hitler and Mussolini in a pillow fight with an orangutan
-Hitler with his rear end caught on a bucket while a bomb burns inside
-Hitler, Mussolini and General Suki Yaki all taking out life insurance on each other and then trying to kill each other
…and so on, and so on. The devil is played by Alan Mowbray, who gets close to Hitler by becoming his butler, and then tries to get him to perform a good deed by not executing an insurance salesman. You know, in some people’s books, this wouldn’t necessarily be considered a good deed, but I don’t think this movie is aiming for strict realism.
Quite frankly, they don’t make them like this anymore.