Inspector General

( 4 )

Overview

The satirical bite of Gogol's play The Government Inspector is dispensed with in favor of traditional Danny Kaye buffoonery in The Inspector General. Kaye plays the illiterate stooge of two-bit medicine-show- entrepreneur Walter Slezak. Abandoned by Slezak, the starving Kaye wanders into a corruption-ridden Russian village, which is all geared up for a visit from the Inspector General. Mistaking Kaye for that selfsame royal inspector, the townsfolk fawn on the confused Kaye, granting him his every whim and plying...
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Overview

The satirical bite of Gogol's play The Government Inspector is dispensed with in favor of traditional Danny Kaye buffoonery in The Inspector General. Kaye plays the illiterate stooge of two-bit medicine-show- entrepreneur Walter Slezak. Abandoned by Slezak, the starving Kaye wanders into a corruption-ridden Russian village, which is all geared up for a visit from the Inspector General. Mistaking Kaye for that selfsame royal inspector, the townsfolk fawn on the confused Kaye, granting him his every whim and plying him with all sorts of bribes. In the original Gogol play, the boorish phony inspector takes advantage of the villagers' error by laying waste to the town and seducing a few local maidens; in the film, Kaye is as pure as the driven borscht, as is his true love (Barbara Bates), the only honest person in town. The treachery is in the hands of Slezak, who fakes Kaye's death and tries to blackmail the crooked local officials. The deus-ex-machina arrival of the real Inspector General foils the crooks and places the nonplused Kaye in the job of town mayor. Those of you who read the play in college may remember it ends with everyone frozen in horror when the genuine inspector shows up, with Gogol's stage directions insisting that the actors hold their fearful poses for a full sixty seconds. Be assured that in the film version of Inspector General, nothing stands still--least of all Danny Kaye, who cuts quite a swath through several Sylvia Fine/Johnny Mercer specialty songs.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Although the cynical Nikolai Gogol stage play on which it is based would seem an unlikely vehicle for a musical comedy, The Inspector General is one of Danny Kaye's best and most energetic films. The production is held together by the steady work of veteran director Henry Koster, who was probably happy to be working on a Warner Bros.-sized budget rather than at his usual cash-strapped Universal. In his lesser work, Kaye often veered his buffoon act into self-parody. Here, he benefits from Koster's control, from the solid supporting work of such character actors as Walter Catlett and Walter Slezak, and from the songs of Johnny Mercer. Russian literature purists will likely object to the liberties taken with the source story, but fans of Kaye won't notice.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/7/2003
  • UPC: 089218604194
  • Original Release: 1949
  • Rating:

  • Source: Alpha Video
  • Region Code: 0
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 28,511

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Danny Kaye Georgi
Walter Slezak Yakov
Barbara Bates Leza
Elsa Lanchester Maria
Gene Lockhart The Mayor
Alan Hale Kovatch
Walter Catlett Col. Castine
Rhys Williams Inspector General
Ben Baker Telecki
Norman Leavitt Laszlo
Sam Hearn Gizzick
Byron Foulger Burbis
Lennie Bremen Lieutenant
Nestor Paiva Gregor
John Carradine
Technical Credits
Henry Koster Director
Elwood Bredell Cinematographer
Rudi Fehr Editor
Jordan Fields Producer
Sylvia Fine Score Composer, Songwriter, Associate Producer
Johnny Green Score Composer, Songwriter, Musical Direction/Supervision
Robert M. Haas Art Director
Harry Kurnitz Screenwriter
Eugene Loring Choreography
Johnny Mercer Songwriter
Philip Rapp Screenwriter
William Travilla Costumes/Costume Designer
Jerry Wald Producer
Perc Westmore Makeup
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1 [18:17]
2. Chapter 2 [20:03]
3. Chapter 3 [13:58]
4. Chapter 4 [19:45]
5. Chapter 5 [16:29]
6. Chapter 6 [13:06]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Index
   Catalog
      View Catalog
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Danny Kaye's Second Greatest Film

    After Hans Christian Anderson, which is hands down Danny Kaye's best film, The Inspector General comes in a close second. Filled with his mastery of slap-stickery, Danny Kaye plays off everything in this picture. But the classic scene is when he sings "Dance Gypsy, Sing Gypsy" a scene so memorable it inspired a Daffy Duck spoof.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews