Hi Diddle Diddle (1943)
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). … More
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