Look Who's Laughing (1941)

75 or 79 mins | Comedy | 21 November 1941

Director:

Allan Dwan

Writer:

James V. Kern

Producer:

Allan Dwan

Cinematographer:

Frank Redman

Editor:

Sherman Todd

Production Designer:

Van Nest Polglase

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Look Who's Talking . In the film's opening credits, the two "O's" in the word "look" become eyeballs and the "O" in the word "who" turns into a laughing mouth. Although the characters of "Fibber McGee and Molly" are identified as Jim and Marian Jordan in the end credits, in the opening credits they are identified only as "Fibber McGee and Molly." According to a pre-production news item in HR , David Hempstead was originally slated to produce this picture, but decided to remain in New York to work with Ben Hecht on the screenplay for Journey Into Fear instead. An early HR production chart adds Irving Bacon and Chester Clute to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Although actor Bill Thompson is listed in the CBCS in two different parts, it has not been confirmed that he played two different roles. Another pre-production news item in HR adds that although the studio originally designated the film as a medium budget production to attract radio listeners, it later decided to raise the budget to a big-scale production. According to that news item, Desi Arnaz was to star in the cast with Lucille Ball. The film was described in the HR review as a "collaboration between the radio comedians' gag writers and screenwrtier James Kern." A HR news item published after the film's release noted that this was the most profitable RKO production of 1941, and its success prompted the studio to sign more radio ... More Less

The working title of this film was Look Who's Talking . In the film's opening credits, the two "O's" in the word "look" become eyeballs and the "O" in the word "who" turns into a laughing mouth. Although the characters of "Fibber McGee and Molly" are identified as Jim and Marian Jordan in the end credits, in the opening credits they are identified only as "Fibber McGee and Molly." According to a pre-production news item in HR , David Hempstead was originally slated to produce this picture, but decided to remain in New York to work with Ben Hecht on the screenplay for Journey Into Fear instead. An early HR production chart adds Irving Bacon and Chester Clute to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Although actor Bill Thompson is listed in the CBCS in two different parts, it has not been confirmed that he played two different roles. Another pre-production news item in HR adds that although the studio originally designated the film as a medium budget production to attract radio listeners, it later decided to raise the budget to a big-scale production. According to that news item, Desi Arnaz was to star in the cast with Lucille Ball. The film was described in the HR review as a "collaboration between the radio comedians' gag writers and screenwrtier James Kern." A HR news item published after the film's release noted that this was the most profitable RKO production of 1941, and its success prompted the studio to sign more radio personalities. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
20 Sep 1941.
---
Daily Variety
17 Sep 1941.
---
Film Daily
17 Sep 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Mar 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
9 May 41
p. 25.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jun 41
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
26 May 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 41
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Aug 41
p. 221.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
20 Sep 41
p. 273.
New York Times
25 Dec 41
p. 33.
Variety
17 Sep 41
p. 9.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITERS
Story and scr
Material for Fibber McGee and Molly
Material for Fibber McGee and Molly
Material for Edgar Bergen
Material for Edgar Bergen
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Look Who's Talking
Release Date:
21 November 1941
Production Date:
13 May--late June 1941
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 September 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10932
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75 or 79
Length(in feet):
7,094
Country:
United States
PCA No:
7380
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

After completing his last radio broadcast of the season, ventriloquist Edgar Bergen hosts an engagement party for his assistant, Julie Patterson, and business manager Jerry Wood. The next day, Edgar and his dummy, Charlie McCarthy, leave for their summer vacation aboard Edgar's new plane. En route, Edgar, who is piloting the craft, becomes lost and lands in Wistful Vista, the home of Fibber and Molly McGee. Fibber is hurrying to a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce where, as president of the organization, he wants to propose that the town try to sell its airstrip to the Horton Aircraft factory. Fibber is opposed by Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, who is bidding to buy the strip for a friend. The meeting is disrupted by the arrival of Edgar's plane, and the group, believing the aircraft is carrying Hilary Horton, the owner of Horton Aircraft, drives to the airstrip. There Edgar and Charlie are welcomed by Fibber and Molly, who invite them to stay at their house. Learning of Fibber's plans, Edgar offers to convince Hilary, his friend, to build his factory at Wistful Vista. When Edgar invites Hilary to visit the town on Wednesday, Gildersleeve tricks Fibber into paying for an elaborate luncheon to honor their guest. Gildersleeve is secretly working for Sam Cudahy of Ironton Realty, who wants the Horton factory built in Ironton. When Gildersleeve tries to renege on his deal, Cudahy threatens to blackmail him unless he sabotages Wistful Vista's bid for the factory. Soon after, Gildersleeve learns that Charlie wants to leave town and suggests that he send a fake telegram to Edgar, informing him that Julie is ill. On the day ... +


After completing his last radio broadcast of the season, ventriloquist Edgar Bergen hosts an engagement party for his assistant, Julie Patterson, and business manager Jerry Wood. The next day, Edgar and his dummy, Charlie McCarthy, leave for their summer vacation aboard Edgar's new plane. En route, Edgar, who is piloting the craft, becomes lost and lands in Wistful Vista, the home of Fibber and Molly McGee. Fibber is hurrying to a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce where, as president of the organization, he wants to propose that the town try to sell its airstrip to the Horton Aircraft factory. Fibber is opposed by Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, who is bidding to buy the strip for a friend. The meeting is disrupted by the arrival of Edgar's plane, and the group, believing the aircraft is carrying Hilary Horton, the owner of Horton Aircraft, drives to the airstrip. There Edgar and Charlie are welcomed by Fibber and Molly, who invite them to stay at their house. Learning of Fibber's plans, Edgar offers to convince Hilary, his friend, to build his factory at Wistful Vista. When Edgar invites Hilary to visit the town on Wednesday, Gildersleeve tricks Fibber into paying for an elaborate luncheon to honor their guest. Gildersleeve is secretly working for Sam Cudahy of Ironton Realty, who wants the Horton factory built in Ironton. When Gildersleeve tries to renege on his deal, Cudahy threatens to blackmail him unless he sabotages Wistful Vista's bid for the factory. Soon after, Gildersleeve learns that Charlie wants to leave town and suggests that he send a fake telegram to Edgar, informing him that Julie is ill. On the day that Edgar is to deliver Hilary, he receives the wire and flies back to New York. Upon discovering that Julie is well, Edgar hurries back to Wistful Vista with a protesting Julie in tow. After arriving in town, Edgar learns that Fibber, humiliated, has resigned from the Chamber of Commerce and has been notified that his house is in foreclosure and the airstrip has been purchased by Cudahy. Meanwhile, Jerry and Marge, Julie's replacement as Edgar's assistant and Jerry's former fiancée, drive through the countryside in search of Julie. Back at the McGees', Charlie tells Julie that Gildersleeve suggested sending the telegram, prompting Julie to devise a scheme involving some worthless property that Gildersleeve sold to Fibber. Posing as a Horton employee, Julie tells Cudahy that her employer is really interested in buying Fibber's land for his factory. Soon after, Gildersleeve visits Fibber and offers to trade him his land for the airstrip. With the ownership of the airstrip back in Wistful Vista, Edgar convinces Hilary to fly into town. Meanwhile, Jerry and Marge have decided that they are still in love and get married. Back at the McGees', Molly discovers that Julie is in love with Edgar and advises her to "sabotage" him into marriage. They all then drive to the airstrip to meet Hilary, and as Fibber and Molly wait in Edgar's plane, Edgar and Julie greet Jerry and Marge, who have just driven into town. When Fibber accidentally takes off, Julie and Edgar follow in another plane. After Fibber nearly crashes into his plane, Hilary decides to land in Ironton. Edgar then climbs aboard Fibber's craft, and after safely landing, they all return to the McGee house, where Jerry and Marge announce their marriage. At that moment, Hilary arrives and informs Edgar that he owns a controlling interest in the Horton company and can build a factory wherever he desires. With Fibber's good name restored, Julie embraces Edgar. +

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

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