“If you should hear noises, ignore them — they’re nothing, nothing at all!”
Nightclub performers Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson try to unravel the mystery of a haunted house being rented by a southern colonel (Walter Catlett) and his two musical daughters (Gloria Jean and Martha O’Driscoll), who are due to make their debut at Carnegie Hall that night.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Amateur Sleuths
- Lon Chaney, Jr. Films
- Old Dark House
Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson’s follow-up to Hellzapoppin’ (1941) was this “comedic thriller” clearly meant to capitalize on both the popularity of the Topper trilogy and Abbott and Costello’s Hold That Ghost (1941), which is openly referenced in the film. Unfortunately, there’s barely enough of Chic and Ole’s trademark zany antics to make this one worth sitting through, given that the surrounding plot is both nonsensical and insipid, and the song and dance sequences interspersed throughout are instantly forgettable. Lon Chaney, Jr. and Andy Devine make brief cameos in animal costumes (don’t ask), but aren’t given nearly enough to do. With that said, fans on IMDb insist that this film is “side-splitting” and that it’s Olsen and Johnson’s “funniest film”, so perhaps I’m missing something — you’ll have to decide for yourself. Meanwhile, I suggest sticking with Hellzapoppin’ as Chic and Ole’s one true must-see film.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Occasional snippets of truly bizarre lunacy
- Effectively atmospheric cinematography during several scary sequences
No — unless you’re a diehard Olsen and Johnson fan.