Knock on Wood (1954)

Passed   |    |  Comedy

Knock on Wood (1954) Poster

Ventriloquist Jerry Morgan has to see another love affair fail. The reason: when the relationship reaches the point when it is time to discuss marriage, his doll Clarence becomes mean and ... See full summary »




  • Danny Kaye and Mai Zetterling in Knock on Wood (1954)
  • Danny Kaye in Knock on Wood (1954)
  • Danny Kaye and Mai Zetterling in Knock on Wood (1954)
  • 9193-1 "Knock On Wood" Bob Hope visiting Danny Kaye on the set 1955 Paramount
  • Mai Zetterling in Knock on Wood (1954)
  • Danny Kaye and Mai Zetterling in Knock on Wood (1954)

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21 February 2013 | bkoganbing
| Two Dummies or Three
The story of the ventriloquist's dummy who develops a personality all its own has been used any number of times. Two times when it was used seriously the ventriloquists were Cliff Robertson on the Twilight Zone and Michael Redgrave in Dead Of Night. But Danny Kaye managed to use it for laughs in Knock On Wood.

Every time Kaye gets close to a girl to start talking seriously of marriage, his second persona through the dummy takes over and cooks the deal for good. Kaye's agent David Burns suggests some consultation with a psychiatrist Steven Geray. And then Geray consults a consultant and the consultant psychiatrist turns out to be Mai Zetterling.

That's how romances start with comics, especially movie comics. But even Zetterling is ready to commit him when all kind of strange things happen. Two parts of the design of a secret weapon get hidden both of Kaye's dummies Clarence and Terrence. And two different sets of spies get a hold of the parts. One is held by Leon Askin and the second held by international man of mystery Torin Thatcher.

Things start happening around Kaye that he and no one else can explain so it's not unnatural for mental health professionals to think he's off his rocker. But so does law enforcement in several countries.

Knock On Wood is not as good as so many of Kaye's films, still his fans should like it. Best is the ballet sequences where in trying to elude the police who want him for a homicide and the spies who just want him dead, Danny fouls up a ballet that his former girlfriend is starring in. What a way to put a coda on a breakup.

Of course Danny was to reach the height of his career with his next two films White Christmas and The Court Jester. Knock On Wood is good, but just an interlude in Danny's career.

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