You Never Can Tell (1951)

78 mins | Fantasy | September 1951

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was One Never Knows . FDYB erroneously lists the working title as You Can Never Tell. Although Leslie I. Carey and Richard DeWeese are credited onscreen with sound direction, a HR news item lists Jack Rixie and DeWeese as sound men. You Never Can Tell marked Lou Breslow's directorial debut and actress Sara Taft's feature film debut. "King" was portrayed by "Flame," a German Shepherd who had appeared in the "Rusty" series of films released by Columbia in the 1940s. For additional information on the series, please consult the entry for Adventures of Rusty in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 .
       According to a 6 Apr 1951 Var news item, Bert Granville, an actor who portrayed animals for twenty-five years in vaudeville and on the radio, coached Dick Powell on how to act like a dog. HCN reported on 30 Jun 1951 that Breslow previewed the film before ten married couples, culled from lists given to him by ministers, a rabbi and a priest, apparently to test their reactions to the afterlife subplot. HR news items add Everett Glass, Ted Strange and Joe Ploski to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been ... More Less

The working title of this film was One Never Knows . FDYB erroneously lists the working title as You Can Never Tell. Although Leslie I. Carey and Richard DeWeese are credited onscreen with sound direction, a HR news item lists Jack Rixie and DeWeese as sound men. You Never Can Tell marked Lou Breslow's directorial debut and actress Sara Taft's feature film debut. "King" was portrayed by "Flame," a German Shepherd who had appeared in the "Rusty" series of films released by Columbia in the 1940s. For additional information on the series, please consult the entry for Adventures of Rusty in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 .
       According to a 6 Apr 1951 Var news item, Bert Granville, an actor who portrayed animals for twenty-five years in vaudeville and on the radio, coached Dick Powell on how to act like a dog. HCN reported on 30 Jun 1951 that Breslow previewed the film before ten married couples, culled from lists given to him by ministers, a rabbi and a priest, apparently to test their reactions to the afterlife subplot. HR news items add Everett Glass, Ted Strange and Joe Ploski to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
25 Aug 1951.
---
Daily Variety
6 Apr 1951.
---
Daily Variety
2 Jul 1951.
---
Daily Variety
24 Aug 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Aug 51
p. 7.
Hollywood Citizen-News
30 Jun 1951.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Mar 51
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Mar 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Mar 51
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Mar 1951.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Apr 51
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Apr 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 51
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jul 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 51
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Aug 51
p. 989.
Variety
29 Aug 51
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Acting coach
Trainer for Flame
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
One Never Knows
Release Date:
September 1951
Production Date:
20 March--late April 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
6 September 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1138
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
78
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15347
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When tycoon Andrew Lindsay dies, he shocks his community by leaving his six million dollar fortune to King, his faithful dog. Lindsay's secretary, the sweet and lovely Ellen Hathaway, is the trustee of the estate and next in line to inherit. Ellen is besieged by fortune hunters, and when Corporal Perry Collins comes by to visit King and King seems to dislike him, she suspects that he is just another fortune hunter. Perry soon wins her over, however, by regaling her with stories of his days with King in the Army K-9 Corps. Weeks later, Ellen is falling in love with Perry, but King remains wary. Perry leaves for a business meeting, promising that if he secures backing for his project, he will return to ask Ellen "an important question." Later that day, King is found dead from poisoning, and the police immediately name Ellen as their top suspect. King's ghost rises that night to Bestiatory, or animal purgatory, where each spirit is judged and either allowed into heaven or sentenced to return to earth as a "hum-animal." Hum-animals are humans who retain their animal tendencies, and they must remain as such until they have paid for their former sins. King asks for, and is granted special permission to go back as a conscious hum-animal in order to clear Ellen of the false charges against her. With a guide, a female racehorse named Golden Harvest, King returns to earth as Rex Shepard, a private investigator with a taste for kibble. He informs Goldie that Perry is a sadistic animal abuser and killed King in order to marry Ellen and swindle her out of her inheritance. Rex's first order of ... +


When tycoon Andrew Lindsay dies, he shocks his community by leaving his six million dollar fortune to King, his faithful dog. Lindsay's secretary, the sweet and lovely Ellen Hathaway, is the trustee of the estate and next in line to inherit. Ellen is besieged by fortune hunters, and when Corporal Perry Collins comes by to visit King and King seems to dislike him, she suspects that he is just another fortune hunter. Perry soon wins her over, however, by regaling her with stories of his days with King in the Army K-9 Corps. Weeks later, Ellen is falling in love with Perry, but King remains wary. Perry leaves for a business meeting, promising that if he secures backing for his project, he will return to ask Ellen "an important question." Later that day, King is found dead from poisoning, and the police immediately name Ellen as their top suspect. King's ghost rises that night to Bestiatory, or animal purgatory, where each spirit is judged and either allowed into heaven or sentenced to return to earth as a "hum-animal." Hum-animals are humans who retain their animal tendencies, and they must remain as such until they have paid for their former sins. King asks for, and is granted special permission to go back as a conscious hum-animal in order to clear Ellen of the false charges against her. With a guide, a female racehorse named Golden Harvest, King returns to earth as Rex Shepard, a private investigator with a taste for kibble. He informs Goldie that Perry is a sadistic animal abuser and killed King in order to marry Ellen and swindle her out of her inheritance. Rex's first order of business is to visit his old home, but Ellen at first refuses his offer to help her clear her name. She relaxes, however, when Lindsay's other dog, Tillie, who has not eaten since King died, joyfully eats out of Rex's hand. The next day, Perry informs Rex that he has persuaded Ellen to drop his investigation of the case, after which Rex sneaks back to the house to reconstruct the night of the murder from memory. He soon digs up the bottle of poison Perry used, and when Ellen sees it, she re-hires him. As soon as Rex asks her to postpone her upcoming wedding to Perry, however, she assumes he is only after her money and turns him in to the police as a possible murder suspect. The police bug his office, but as soon as they hear Rex reminiscing with Goldie about his days as a dog, they decide he is merely insane. Now unable to procure the police's help, Rex tracks down his old K-9 Corps friend, a bulldog named Max. He steals Max from his kennel and brings him to Ellen's, where he informs her that Perry beat the Army dogs, and proves his claim by setting Max loose to attack his old corporal. When Max's owner, Perry's old commander Major Smith, arrives, he confirms that Perry was transferred because he was cruel to the animals. With Perry safely in police custody, Ellen asks a smitten Rex to visit her again, but Goldie reminds him that they must return to Bestiatory that night or be forced to remain on earth as humans with no memory of their animal days. Rex at first leaves with Goldie, but when she mentions that Ellen is actually a part-shepherd hum-animal, Rex decides to stay on earth with Ellen for at least one more lifetime. +

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

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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.