Whistling in Dixie (1942)

Article 2448 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-15-2007
Posting Date: 4-25-2008
Directed by S. Sylvan Simon
Featuring Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford, George Bancroft

A radio personality known as “The Fox” goes to Georgia to help solve a real-life crime in which a man was murdered, but the body then disappeared.

This was the second of three comedies in which Red Skelton played radio detective Wally Benton; I’ve already covered WHISTLING IN THE DARK , but I will most likely not be covering the third (WHISTLING IN BROOKLYN), as it apparently has no fantastic content. In fact, this one doesn’t have much either outside of a little spooky atmosphere on occasion. The movie is moderately funny, though it’s not quite up to the level of the previous one. Still, it does have one wonderful moment of comic suspense when Red places himself in chopping distance of a guillotine, unaware that he has just set his cigarette down in a place that is slowly burning the rope that holds the blade up. Ann Rutherford also returns from the previous movie, as does Rags Ragland, who not only reprises his tough guy role from the earlier movie, but also plays his twin brother. The movie gets a fair amount of comic mileage out of the confusion between the two brothers. All in all, a good, but not great, comedy.


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