Murder, He Says (1945)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery


Murder, He Says (1945) Poster

A pollster stumbles on a family of murderous hillbillies, and joins in their search for hidden treasure.


7.7/10
1,499

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23 September 2005 | hildacrane
10
| Dark and hilarious
This film doesn't get mentioned much, but it is a classic---it manages to be both hilarious and terrifying, and very satisfyingly so. It's a crazy take on the city slicker encountering a clan of inbred backwoods folk. The darkness of the story combined with the frantic pacing and classic farce set-ups really works, and the lack of musical score actually emphasizes the clamminess of the atmosphere.

The goofy and murderous family is of course profoundly dysfunctional (though the term wasn't thought of then), and the classic "old dark house," with its cellars and hidden passages, as almost the sole setting eventually seems like a metaphor for damaged and torturous relationships . Although there are a few disturbing scenes of abuse of a "teched" daughter, somehow within the over-all context of comic hysteria they are appropriate. Much of the film's success is due to MacMurray's impeccable comic timing. There's also great matching of reaction shots for Peter Whitney's turn as twins Mert and Bert.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its first documented telecast took place in Seattle Friday 3 April 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7), and it soon became a popular local favorite as it was first shown in Omaha 13 May 1959 on KETV (Channel 7), in New York City 5 September 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Detroit 21 September 1959 on WJBK (Channel 2), in Grand Rapids 22 September 1959 on WOOD (Channel 8), in Pittsburgh 27 October 1959 on KDKA (Channel 2), in Milwaukee 12 November 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), in Phoenix 16 November 1959 on KVAR (Channel 12), in both Toledo and Indianapolis 22 December 1959, on WTOL (Channel 11), and WFBM (Channel 6), in San Francisco 29 December 1959 on KPIX (Channel 5), in Lowell MA (serving Boston) 10 May 1960 on WBZ (Channel 4), and, finally, in Los Angeles 16 November 1960 on KNXT (Channel 2). It was released on DVD 15 November 2011 by TCM as part of their Universal Collection and, since that time, has also enjoyed an occasional airing on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies.


Quotes

Grandma Fleagle: I glow, don't I?
Pete Marshall: Yes, quite a bit.
Grandma Fleagle: I knowed it! I'm p'isoned, and
Grandma Fleagle: they're the ones that done it to me!
Pete Marshall: They did? How?
Mamie Johnson: What to you want to do, live forever?


Goofs

In Elany's first scene, as she enters her grandmother's room, we see her clutching a leather briefcase. The close-up shot of the briefcase shows an embossed globe on the front, with "Trotter Poll" written above it, and "Hector P. Smedley" written below it, in large letters. As the camera changes from close-up to medium shot, the briefcase still has the globe, but now the lettering is missing.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Comedy | Crime | Mystery

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