27 August 2004 | frankfob
Cheap, cheesy and unfunny
During the Prohibition era, mild-mannered underwear salesman Stu Erwin just happens to be an exact double for a notorious gangster, and winds up as the head of the local mob. Mistaken identity was a pretty hoary old plot device even for 1947, and director Lewis D. Collins does absolutely nothing new with it. Collins spent most of his career churning out cheap B westerns for the lower-rung studios and the even lower-rent independent states rights market, and it shows--the film has the raggedy, cheesy and rushed look of an ultra-cheap oater, and Collins shoots it like one: fast. There's no pacing, no build-up, no nothing, just a hurried succession of stale jokes, contrived situations and lackluster performances. Production values are almost nil--every time someone closes a door you expect to see the set come crashing down--and although it's supposed to take place during the Prohibition era of the 1920s, all the clothing and dialogue are strictly from the '40s, which makes you wonder why they bothered to set it during the 1920s in the first place. That's just one of the many downsides of this alleged "comedy". Do yourself a favor and don't bother to find out what the rest of them are. Skip this one.