Mister 880 (1950)

Not Rated   |    |  Comedy, Crime, Romance


Mister 880 (1950) Poster

Gentle romantic comedy about a Secret Service Agent trying to catch a cold case counterfeiter and a United Nations translator.


7.1/10
1,134

Photos

  • Burt Lancaster and Dorothy McGuire in Mister 880 (1950)
  • Burt Lancaster and Dorothy McGuire in Mister 880 (1950)
  • Burt Lancaster and Dorothy McGuire in Mister 880 (1950)
  • Burt Lancaster and Dorothy McGuire in Mister 880 (1950)
  • Burt Lancaster and Dorothy McGuire in Mister 880 (1950)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


3 May 2006 | bkoganbing
7
| The Whimsical Edmund Gwenn
Burt Lancaster was always one who took firm control of his career. He got out of the studio system very early in Hollywood and was always the one who called his own shots. I'm guessing that he probably owed someone a favor which is why he did Mister 880.

It's not that Mister 880 is a bad film, but it's most definitely not a Burt Lancaster project. Burt and leading lady Dorothy McGuire play a definite second fiddle to Edmund Gwenn as the whimsical old neighborhood character who does some counterfeiting on the side when he runs short of money.

The title stems from the number on his file with the United States Secret Service. Mister 880 isn't even that good a counterfeiter, but his case has been put on the agency back burner for years while they assign top priority to organized gangs of counterfeiters. Gwenn does his work on cheap office supply paper with a hand press. He even spells Washington wrong on the one dollar bills he prints. And he's been getting away with it for years because of the small denominations.

McGuire comes to Lancaster's attention as she gets stuck with one of Gwenn's phonies. He's the agent who the New York office finally decided to assign to the 880 case. Of course the usual romantic complications get in the way of the case, but not forever.

Edmund Gwenn is one of those delightful character actors you cannot help but like. His charm is infectious, never more so than when he won that Oscar for Miracle on 34th Street. His character of the Skipper is in the same vein as Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street.

Who could not like Edmund Gwenn and therefore who could not like Mister 880.

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the true story of Emerich Juettner, an elderly junk dealer who, like the character in the movie, only used to print counterfeit $1 bills to make ends meet. For 10 years, Juettner eluded the Secret Service's efforts to find him. He was finally caught in January, 1948, after a fire forced him to vacate his apartment on New York's Upper West Side, and move in with his daughter in Queens. The firemen who put out the fire left some of Juettner's belongings in a nearby alley. A few weeks later, a group of local boys found some of his $1 bills in the alley, realized they were fakes (the name "Washington" was misspelled as "Wahsington" on the bills), and turned them over to police. Juettner was arrested, but only sentenced to nine months in jail and a $1 fine. When 20th Century Fox bought the movie rights to his story, Juettner received more money than he had ever made as a counterfeiter.


Quotes

Ann Winslow: Someone once said that a task left undone creates a void that no amount of achievement can fill.
Steve Buchanan: Who's the imbecile who dreamed that one up?
Ann Winslow: I am.


Goofs

When skipper confesses to the police,he says he never gave anybody more than one counterfeit dollar. However, he $2 stuffed in counterfeit ones as change in his neighbor's handbag, when she gave him $5 when he only asked for $3.


Crazy Credits

Opening credits appear on dollar bills.


Soundtracks

National Emblem
(uncredited)
Music by
Edwin Eugene Bagley
Played as parade music

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Comedy | Crime | Romance

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