A Southern Yankee (1948)





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Hot on the heels of Columbia's The Fuller Brush Man, MGM released another Red Skelton gagfest, A Southern Yankee. Set during the Civil War, the film casts Skelton as bumbling bellboy Aubrey Filmore. Yearning to help the Northern cause by becoming an undercover spy, Aubrey succeeds beyond his wildest dreams when circumstances force him to pose as notorious Southern secret agent Major Drumman (George Coulouris), aka "The Grey Spider". Infiltrating rebel territory, our hero does his best (which is none too good) to intercept the Grey Spider's messages and smuggle them to the North. Along the way, he falls in love with pert Southern belle Sallyann Weatherby (Arlene Dahl). Many of the side-splitting gag routines were devised by Buster Keaton, notably the now-famous scene in which Aubrey gingerly walks across the battlefield between Northern and Southern lines carrying a two-sided flag -- the Northern Stars and Stripes on one side, the Southern Stars and Bars on the other -- a strategy that works until the wind suddenly changes! Though Edward Sedgwick is credited with the direction, Red Skelton later revealed that A Southern Yankee was actually directed by S. Sylvan Simon.
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Warner Home Video

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Roger Moore
as S.S. Man
John Ireland
as Capt. Jed Calbern
Brian Donlevy
as Curt Devlynn
Jeff Corey
as Union Cavalry Sergeant
Red Skelton
as Aubrey Filmore
Lane Chandler
as Sentry
Jack Lee
as Officer
Cliff Clark
as Dr. Cooper
George Coulouris
as Maj. Jack Drumman
William Tannen
as S.S. Man
Charles Dingle
as Col. Weatharby
Arlene Dahl
as Sallyann Weatharby
Frank McGrath
as Dispatch Rider
Richard Simmons
as S.S. Man
Sam Flint
as Officer
Lloyd Gough
as Capt. Steve Lorford
Arthur Space
as Mark Haskins
Byron Foulger
as Mr. Duncan
John Merton
as Horseman
Dick Wessel
as Orderly
Addison Richards
as Dr. Clayton
Henry Hall
as Thaddeus Drumman
Bill Kennedy
as Lt. Sheve
Edward Gargan
as Male Nurse
Minor Watson
as Gen. Watkins
Stanley Andrews
as S.S. Man
Harry Cording
as Horseman
Paul Harvey
as Mr. Twitchell
Reed Hadley
as Fred Munsey
Joyce Compton
as Hortense Dobson
Richard Alexander
as Bartender
Art Baker
as Col. Clifford M. Baker
Paul Newlan
as Man with Saber
David Sharpe
as Confederate Officer
Weldon Heyburn
as Officer
Kermit Maynard
as Horseman
Ian MacDonald
as Orderly
Forbes Murray
as Officer
Frank S. Hagney
as Horseman
Dick Simmons
as S.S. Man
Susan Simon
as Jenny
Ralph Montgomery
as Confederate Soldier
David Newell
as Sentry
Ralph Volkie
as Soldier
Walter Merrill
as Confederate Soldier
Bert Moorhouse
as Captain
Carl Saxe
as Sentry
Allen Mathews
as Soldier
Wally Merrill
as Confederate Soldier
John Hilton
as Orderly
Steve Bennett
as Soldier
Marcus Turk
as Confederate Soldier
Rod O'Connor
as Maj. Kingsby
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Critic Reviews for A Southern Yankee

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Audience Reviews for A Southern Yankee


Red Skelton is wonderful, as an undercover spy for the Union army. Some hilarious gags. Good support from Arlene Dahl, Brian Donlevy, George Coulouris and John Ireland. The scene where he walks across the battlefield with a confederate flag on one side, and a union flag on the other, it works until the wind changes direction! It's a great classic scene. Good costumes.

James Higgins
James Higgins

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