Hi Diddle Diddle

Overview

In the tradition of Hellzapoppin', Hi Diddle Diddle is an all-stops-out "screwball comedy" populated by certifiable zanies. Billie Burke plays Mrs. Prescott, the featherbrained mother of bride-to-be Janie Prescott (Martha Scott). When Mrs. P is swindled out of her life savings, Colonel Phyffe (Adolphe Menjou), the con-man father of Janie's fiancé Sonny (Dennis O'Keefe), vows to get her money back -- by any means possible. The plotline is merely an excuse for a series of wild nonsequitur visual and verbal gags, ...
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Overview

In the tradition of Hellzapoppin', Hi Diddle Diddle is an all-stops-out "screwball comedy" populated by certifiable zanies. Billie Burke plays Mrs. Prescott, the featherbrained mother of bride-to-be Janie Prescott (Martha Scott). When Mrs. P is swindled out of her life savings, Colonel Phyffe (Adolphe Menjou), the con-man father of Janie's fiancé Sonny (Dennis O'Keefe), vows to get her money back -- by any means possible. The plotline is merely an excuse for a series of wild nonsequitur visual and verbal gags, culminating in a cute reverse-cliché finale. Making her first Hollywood appearance in years, silent screen star Pola Negri is hilariously cast as Phyffe's opera-star wife Genya Smetana. Best bits: Mrs. Prescott revealing that a recurring female character is a "special friend of the director"; Leslie Quayle (June Havoc singing a duet with herself); and an outrageous scene in which the wallpaper comes to life during a eardrum-shattering family sing-along (the animation was provided by the Warner Bros. cartoon staff).
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Those in the mood for something nutty and screwy are most likely to enjoy Hi Diddle Diddle, a bit of tomfoolery that unfortunately isn't as off-the-wall as it wants to be. That's certainly not from lack of trying. Edmund L. Hartmann and Frederick J. Jackson's screenplay is cut from very loose cloth, and intentionally so: they writers want to have an "anything goes" kind of set-up so that they can throw in gags and nonsense. That's all well and good, but it takes a special kind of order to frame the kind of anarchy that they're after, and it's hard to achieve that order in a manner that gives the illusion of effortlessness. They don't achieve that, with the result that much of the humor feels forced. Nevertheless, there are some bits that are simply divine, including a running gag involving an actress who keeps showing up in every scene because she's the director's girl friend, and a sequence in which wallpaper depicting Richard Wagner and kin on a picnic suddenly comes to life and flees the din that the other characters are creating. The cast is certainly not to blame for the film's inability to be as daft and daffy as it wishes to be, for Billie Burke, Pola Negri Adolphe Menjou and the rest all give it their considerable best. Perhaps if director Andrew L. Stone had the sensibility of a Mel Brooks or a Groucho Marx, Diddle might have attained the zany heights it aims for.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/26/2004
  • UPC: 089218453495
  • Original Release: 1943
  • Rating:

  • Source: Alpha Video
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: B&W
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:12:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 31,774

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dennis O'Keefe Sonny Phyffe
Martha Scott Janie Prescott
Adolphe Menjou Col. Hector Phyffe
Billie Burke Mrs. Prescott, Liza Prescott
Pola Negri Genya Smetana
June Havoc Leslie Quayle,
Walter Kingsford Sen. Simpson, Senator Jummy Simpson
Barton Hepburn Peter Warrington III
George Metaxa Spinelli
Marek Windheim Pianist
Eddie Marr Croupier
Paul Porcasi Impresario, Impressario
Lorraine Miller A Friend, Friend
Richard Hageman Boughton, Stockbroker, Boughton
Bert Roach Fat Man in Taxi, Fat Man
Chick Chandler Chauffeur
Ellen Lowe Maid
Joe Devlin Bartender
Hal K. Dawson Minister, Watson
Andrew Tombes Doorman
Byron Foulger Watson, Minister
Technical Credits
Andrew L. Stone Director, Producer
Adrian Costumes/Costume Designer
Phil Boutelje Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Foster Carling Songwriter
Edward F. Finney Associate Producer
Edmund L. Hartmann Screenwriter
Frederick J. Jackson Screenwriter
Ted Larsen Makeup
Harvey Manger Editor
Leon Schlesinger Animator
Charles E. Schoenbaum Cinematographer
Earl B. Wooden Set Decoration/Design
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1 [1:52]
2. Chapter 2 [10:19]
3. Chapter 3 [12:03]
4. Chapter 4 [11:52]
5. Chapter 5 [12:21]
6. Chapter 6 [11:40]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Chapter Index
   Catalog
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