User Reviews (9)

Add a Review

  • This was brilliant animated short filled with classic Tex Avery jokes. The story has a detective investigating a murder in an old house. But the detective finds everything from ghosts to Santa Clause in the house. This was pure genius and exactly what I expected from Tex Avery.
  • What can you say about a cartoon featuring the vocal talents of Billy Bletcher (best known as Pegleg Pete in Disney shorts) and Richard Haydn (character actor) and spoofing everything from detective stories to Red Skelton (twice)? This kitchen-sink cartoon is just great, with the most disturbing household staff this side of Lurch and Thing. Also the best Santa Claus gag I've ever seen in a cartoon. One of the few (perhaps the only) time Tex used full animation in conjunction with live action footage, although he did do two of the "Speaking of Animals" shorts for Twentieth Century-Fox. Well worth seeing. Most highly recommended.
  • Love animation, it was a big part of my life as a child, particularly Disney, Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry, and still love it whether it's film, television or cartoons.

    Also have much admiration for Tex Avery, an animation genius whose best cartoons are animated masterpieces and some of the best he ever did. Tex Avery's 'Who Killed Who' may sound like another one of the many murder mystery in a creepy house endeavours in animation or in film in general, but manages to be much more than that. It has all the murder mystery tropes, the creepy setting, the horror feel, the suspense, the mystery, the suspicious-inducing suspects, but explores it in a way that's imaginative and hilarious at the same time.

    Not many cartoon cartoons manage to be hilarious, creepy and imaginative, 'Who Killed Who' does and is one of the greatest ever examples. To me, it's one of Avery's greatest too, though he was a master director who was responsible for so many very good to classic cartoons and even his weaker efforts would induce the envy of any animation directors at their worst.

    All the characters are entertaining and induce the right amount of suspicion. The voice acting is in true bravura-style particularly from Billy Bletcher. The narration sets up the ominous tone to perfection, and the live action is blended ingeniously, the two being blended several times in film/cartoon history to variable effect. For every 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' there's also the likes of 'Rock a Doodle'.

    Avery does a wonderful job directing, with his unique, unlike-any-other visual and characteristic and incredibly distinctive wacky humour style all over it as can be expected.

    On top of the creepy tone and murder mystery story, there are still the classic Avery jokes and sight gags with witty dialogue and the characteristic wildness. Everything is timed immaculately and the ending is a knockout.

    It is no surprise either that the animation is superb, being rich in colour and detail. The character designs are unique, Avery always did have creative character designs, and suitably fluid. The music, courtesy of Scott Bradley, is lushly and cleverly orchestrated, with lively and energetic rhythms and fits very well indeed.

    Altogether, an animated who-dunnit that is an example to all. 10/10 Bethany Cox
  • Warning: Spoilers
    WHO KILLED WHO? is one of the the funniest,cleverest and fastest cartoons produced in Hollywood's golden era,by arguably it's most crazily inventive animator,Tex Avery.The story itself is clichéd,a parody of "Old Dark House" melodramas,but the ever brilliant Avery manages to cram in scores of hilarious,often outrageously funny gags every 20 seconds or so,with only a very small number not quite coming off.Most of the jokes,however,succeed outstandingly,and linger in the viewer's memory long afterwards.Avery was justly celebrated for his bizarrely warped,delightfully surrealistic flights of fancy in many of his subjects,which proved to any doubters that the visual possibilities in animation were infinite.In his greatest cartoons,he perhaps produced some of the most extraordinary imagery ever witnessed on film.Just because they were often just 7-8 minutes long,they should not be dismissed as mere filler material.This is a grievous disservice;WHO KILLED WHO? maybe the best out of many outstanding examples of the uniquely distorted genius that was Tex Avery.

    RATING:9 out of 10.
  • Hitchcoc3 August 2019
    This is a hilarious little cartoon. A rich man finds out he is going to be murdered. When the event takes place (pretty much with his permission) a detective comes in to investigate. It turns out that every cliche in the world is tromped on and things are more about process than result. Tex Avery was a master of this kind of stuff. Well worth the time.
  • This is the fifth winning card of Tex Avery's first streak at the MGM. "Who Killed Who", a clever (and hilarious) whodunit (but who cares as long as it's funny) centering on a mysterious murder. It's not the first Avery cartoon to deal with death, so it doesn't even come as a shocker.

    The film sets the tone immediately, after a dark and ominous intro showing a pistol gun, a live-action narrator (somewhat a precursor Hitchcock in his TV series?) announces in a very serious and no-nonsense tone that the case is meant to prove "beyond a shadow of a doubt that crime doesn't pay" then the story begins... the actor is played by Robert Emmet O'Connor and if the sight of live action is incongruous by Avery's standards, it's only the tip of an iceberg.

    As I mention in my previous analyses, the first years at MGM allowed him to establish his personal brand of humor, that elevated parody to the highest levels of hilarity. He used madness, violence and sex in most of his first cartoons, but the notability of his talent also relied on his continuous fourth-wall breaking. But it's not until "Who Killed Who" that he really outdid himself on that level, literally pulverizing the wall.

    It starts with the narrator addressing the audience but it goes further. The film opens on a dark and gloomy house, where you can hear female screams and devilish laughs in the background, they're so overplayed they're ridiculously funny. And then after a long silence, a sign says "gloomy, isn't it?", rather predictable but it's immediately followed by the back of a chair where the word "The Victim" is written. So much for the suspense. It is even spoiled for the primal concerned, the victim reads "Who Killed Who" (from the cartoon of the same name) and realizes he's going to be killed and then..

    ... well, forget it, if I'm going to reveal the whole crime, I better stop here. Let's say this is perhaps one of the Tex Avery shorts with the highest average of laughs per twenty seconds (which is saying a lot), it's one gag after another, and it never really stops until the final twist on the murder that I won't dare to spoil, but there's one little gag I will spoil, and pardon me if I do. it's just a darling of Tex Avery and it deserves a mention.

    When the crime is committed and the policeman comes (he's voiced by Billy Bletcher who did the Big Bad wolf and Pete in Disney studios) he orders everybody to stay still, but then you see the shadow of a man, visibly a theater spectator trying to reach his seat. The policeman hits him on the head and the poor guy falls. That's classic Avery and it says a lot about his genius, why he was above them all. He thought in three dimension, he had the story and the characters, the audience and himself in the God-like position.

    Basically, the policeman hitting the spectator, is like Avery deciding that there's no frontier between the characters and the viewers, and various gags in the film are all meant as nods to the audience, some come from the characters, some from Avery himself. When the policeman takes off a painting, he reads a sign" What did you expect to see back here?", the film is just a hilarious succession of situation involving the three parties. He used these gags a lot in his Warner Bros period, "Who Killed Who" might be the only one to do so and by that, he's one of the most memorable, the closest to this gag might be the hair pulled out in "Magical Maestro".

    This is certainly the cartoon with the greatest symbiosis between the world of animation and live action, proving that everything is possible when it comes to make people laugh, it's certainly one of his best... and ironically, one of his least known. I couldn't tell why. Maybe it has a sophistication and wit that put it off the radar, but it's one of these underrated Avery masterpieces (like "What's Buzzin' Buzzard?") that deserves more publicity.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is one of Tex Avery's three must-be-seen masterpieces (the other two, in case you're wondering, are "Red Hot Riding Hood," also 1943, and "King-Size Canary," 1947). It is a spoof of the then popular but now all-but-forgotten "old dark house" sub-genre of comedy-mysteries. Who but Avery could so successfully parody something that was supposed to be funny to begin with? The film moves at such a lightning pace that when a forties pop-culture reference (e.g. the Jerry Colonna imitation among the falling bodies; Red Skeleton/Skelton) pops up to confuse younger viewers, another gag keeps them from being distracted by it. Older audiences, familiar with these icons of an earlier generation, WILL laugh at these bits. And there is plenty of timeless humor here, too. But I've given enough away, already. Again, "Who Killed Who?" is a must-be-seen classic.
  • This is one of two shorts from 1943 that were included as special features on the DVD for "Presenting Lily Mars". Fortunately, many classic MGM films include a few such shorts--and in this case it's an MGM short from Tex Avery--and it doesn't usually get much better than that.

    This cartoon is like a cheesy radio murder mystery in cartoon form. Billy Bletcher (with a wonderful gravely voice) and Richard Hyden are the two main voices--but Avery himself provides one of the voices as well (he's unbilled but plays Santa). While the humor isn't among Avery's best, it has a lot of the usual goofy touches--enough to make it worth seeing--even the bad jokes (like the Red Skeleton one).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    . . . perhaps deservedly so. Sure, you MAY be able to see a few milquetoast reviews posted on some of the less reputable internet sits concerning WHO KILLED WHO? However, those World Wide Web destinations complying with the basic rules of the Modern World's Thought Police will kill, suppress, and delete any and all commentary relating to WHO KILLED WHO? Perceptive adult thinkers may wonder why this is so. Exactly WHAT has proven to be SO subversive about WHO KILLED WHO? that this cartoon brief can NEVER be discussed in polite society? Well, though it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to run across a copy of this cinema offering without resorting to the Dark Web, viewing it for yourself is still the best way to discover the reason that any intelligent discussion of its content has been virtually eliminated from the Realm of Human Discourse. WHO KILLED WHO? runs the gamut of Unmentionable Things, from A to Z. I could list all of these "Verboten" subjects right here. However, if I did, this enlightening introduction to the extremely provocative WHO KILLED WHO? would NOT be available to you right now.