Stop, You're Killing Me (1953)

86-88 mins | Comedy | 17 January 1953

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Writer:

James O'Hanlon

Producer:

Louis F. Edelman

Cinematographer:

Ted McCord

Editor:

Owen Marks

Production Designers:

Charles H. Clarke, Edward Carrere

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

Jun and Jul 1952 HR news items add the following actors to the cast of the film: George Spotts, Thomas Herman, Libby Burke, Becky Davis, Delores Durrett, Dorothy Howell, Eva Lee Kuney, Joan Maloney, Kay Tapscott, Vicky Van Zandt and the Ernie Felice Quintet. However, their appearance in the released picture has not been confirmed. Although a Jun 1952 HR news item and production chart list Edward Carrere as art director, only Charles H. Clarke is listed onscreen. Warner Bros. studios suffered a major fire during production, but according to a Jul 1952 HR news item, shooting for Stop, You're Killing Me was not interrupted. A new type of face makeup called "Liquid Lightning" was perfected by Gordon Bau, the head of Warner Bros. makeup department, and tested during the filming of the party sequence. Warner Bros. previously had adapted Damon Runyon and Howard Lindsay's play in 1938, under the play's title, A Slight Case of Murder , starring Edward G. Robinson and directed by Lloyd Bacon (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ... More Less

Jun and Jul 1952 HR news items add the following actors to the cast of the film: George Spotts, Thomas Herman, Libby Burke, Becky Davis, Delores Durrett, Dorothy Howell, Eva Lee Kuney, Joan Maloney, Kay Tapscott, Vicky Van Zandt and the Ernie Felice Quintet. However, their appearance in the released picture has not been confirmed. Although a Jun 1952 HR news item and production chart list Edward Carrere as art director, only Charles H. Clarke is listed onscreen. Warner Bros. studios suffered a major fire during production, but according to a Jul 1952 HR news item, shooting for Stop, You're Killing Me was not interrupted. A new type of face makeup called "Liquid Lightning" was perfected by Gordon Bau, the head of Warner Bros. makeup department, and tested during the filming of the party sequence. Warner Bros. previously had adapted Damon Runyon and Howard Lindsay's play in 1938, under the play's title, A Slight Case of Murder , starring Edward G. Robinson and directed by Lloyd Bacon (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
13 Dec 1952.
---
Daily Variety
11 Dec 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
12 Dec 52
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jun 52
p. 5, 11.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 52
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 52
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jul 52
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 52
p. 1, 6.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jul 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 52
p. 3, 7.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Aug 52
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Dec 52
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Dec 52
p. 1637.
New York Times
11 Dec 52
p. 45.
Newsweek
2 Dec 1952.
---
Variety
17 Dec 52
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Asst des
MUSIC
Mus dir
Vocal arr
DANCE
Dances staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play A Slight Case of Murder by Damon Runyon and Howard Lindsay (New York, 11 Sep 1935).
SONGS
"You're My Ever-Loving" and "Stop, You're Killing Me," words by Bob Hilliard, music by Carl Sigman
"Baby Face," words and music by Benny Davis and Harry Akst
"Someone Like You," words by Robert B. Smith, music by Victor Herbert.
DETAILS
Release Date:
17 January 1953
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 10 December 1952
Production Date:
mid June--late August 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
29 December 1952
Copyright Number:
LP2231
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
WarnerColor
Duration(in mins):
86-88
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16032
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New York City, after the repeal of Prohibition, bootlegger Remy Marko, encouraged by his wife Nora, decides to go straight and sell his beer legally. Unfortunately for Remy, no one will buy his foul-tasting beer and having his three faithful cohorts, Mike, Lefty and Giuseppe, use strong-arm tactics to force sales is not a legitimate business practice. In addition, Remy must now pay taxes, so money is short when the bank calls in his half-million dollar loan. Remy decides to consider his prospects at his Saratoga Springs mansion, but before leaving, his daughter Mary unexpectedly returns from school with boyfriend troubles. Mary tells her parents that her fiancé, wealthy Chance Whitelaw, will not get a job, but Remy is pleased that the romance is faltering after he learns that the Whitelaws have been in law enforcement for generations. Later, the Markos drive to Saratoga Springs, accompanied by Remy's three pals and Donnie Reynolds, an orphan boy from his favorite charitable institution. Unknown to Remy, five gangsters have robbed Sad Sam Callahan, a racetrack bookie, and are hiding out in Remy's house. Just before Remy's group arrives, Innocence, one of the robbers, kills the other four, leaving their corpses in a bedroom. Upon arriving at the mansion, Donnie begins terrorizing the household and finds the robbers' satchel of stolen money, which he hides in a chandelier. Still undiscovered, Innocence tries to get back the satchel and escape, but Donnie repeatedly outwits him. Equally defenseless against Donnie are Remy's three pals, who, having been paid with Remy's IOUs, are surprised to learn that Donnie is the only one among them with money. Meanwhile, Chance shows up in a state trooper ... +


In New York City, after the repeal of Prohibition, bootlegger Remy Marko, encouraged by his wife Nora, decides to go straight and sell his beer legally. Unfortunately for Remy, no one will buy his foul-tasting beer and having his three faithful cohorts, Mike, Lefty and Giuseppe, use strong-arm tactics to force sales is not a legitimate business practice. In addition, Remy must now pay taxes, so money is short when the bank calls in his half-million dollar loan. Remy decides to consider his prospects at his Saratoga Springs mansion, but before leaving, his daughter Mary unexpectedly returns from school with boyfriend troubles. Mary tells her parents that her fiancé, wealthy Chance Whitelaw, will not get a job, but Remy is pleased that the romance is faltering after he learns that the Whitelaws have been in law enforcement for generations. Later, the Markos drive to Saratoga Springs, accompanied by Remy's three pals and Donnie Reynolds, an orphan boy from his favorite charitable institution. Unknown to Remy, five gangsters have robbed Sad Sam Callahan, a racetrack bookie, and are hiding out in Remy's house. Just before Remy's group arrives, Innocence, one of the robbers, kills the other four, leaving their corpses in a bedroom. Upon arriving at the mansion, Donnie begins terrorizing the household and finds the robbers' satchel of stolen money, which he hides in a chandelier. Still undiscovered, Innocence tries to get back the satchel and escape, but Donnie repeatedly outwits him. Equally defenseless against Donnie are Remy's three pals, who, having been paid with Remy's IOUs, are surprised to learn that Donnie is the only one among them with money. Meanwhile, Chance shows up in a state trooper uniform, having joined the force to please Mary, and invites her to dine with his socialite mother. Dreaming of a blue-blooded future for Mary, Nora encourages her to go, and arranges for the Whitelaws to return with Mary to the house. Later, Remy tells Nora about the bank loan, and although his pals would happily solve the problem mobster-style, Nora begs Remy to stay legitimate. The discovery of the corpses temporarily distracts Remy from his money worries. Afraid he will be accused of the murders, Remy has the men deliver the bodies to the homes of various people whom they dislike. Later, Remy's pals learn that a reward is being offered for each bandit, dead or alive, and seeing a way to pay off the loan, they retrieve the bodies, but have no opportunity to tell Remy about the reward before Mary and the Whitelaws return from dinner. A party spontaneously erupts when many of the Markos' friends come to call, including Sad Sam, several nightclub bandmembers with their instruments, a shady commissioner and dancing girls. Remy works the crowd, hoping to find someone to help him pay off the loan, and stalls the bank officers, Clyde Post and Cal Ritter, when they show up to demand payment. Despite Nora's attempts to maintain decorum, the haughty Mrs. Whitelaw, appalled by the scene, declares that the engagement is off and tries to leave, but is pulled into a vigorous dance against her will. After being rescued by Nora, she is taken to rest upstairs, where Donnie is still eluding Innocence. When the boy throws some of the stolen money to the floor below, the crowd thinks Remy is giving out expensive party favors, except for Sad Sam, who finds one of his tickets floating down with the money and concludes that Remy has robbed him. Remy, meanwhile, gets the rest of the money from Donnie and uses it to bluff Post and Ritter into granting a loan extension. In the bedroom, Mrs. Whitelaw finds the corpses, and although Remy's men sneak them to a different hiding place before the others see them, she inadvertently stumbles onto them again. As no one else sees or acknowledges the existence of the corpses, she is again urged to rest. Meanwhile, Chance, at Sad Sam's insistence, attempts to arrest Remy for the robbery, but is interrupted by a scream from Mrs. Whitelaw, who has discovered the corpses yet again, this time hanging in a closet. Thinking quickly, Nora exclaims that Mrs. Whitelaw is being harassed by the men who stole their money and sends Remy and Chance upstairs to shoot the burglars. With the help of Remy's guiding hand, Chance shoots at the closet. Although his shots miss their marks completely, he does inadvertently hit Innocence, who is escaping out the window with the money, which he finally retrieved. Remy convinces Chance and other policemen who are called to the scene that Chance heroically killed the robbers. As a result, Chance gets a reward and a promotion, and Mary and Chance proceed with wedding plans. After being convinced to "loosen her corset," Mrs. Whitelaw agrees to help Remy. The Markos decide to adopt Donnie and it appears that Remy will remain a legitimate businessman. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.