7.5/10
2,035
40 user 12 critic

Who Done It? (1942)

Approved | | Comedy, Film-Noir, Mystery | 6 November 1942 (USA)
Two dumb soda jerks dream of writing radio mysteries. When they try to pitch an idea at a radio station, they end up in the middle of a real murder when the station owner is killed during a broadcast.

Director:

Erle C. Kenton

Writers:

Stanley Roberts (story), Stanley Roberts (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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On Disc

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Bud Abbott ... Chick Larkin / Voice of Himself on Radio
Lou Costello ... Mervin Q. Milgrim / Voice of Himself on Radio
Patric Knowles ... Jimmy Turner
William Gargan ... Police Lt. Lou Moran
Louise Allbritton ... Jane Little
Thomas Gomez ... Col. J.R. Andrews
William Bendix ... Detective Brannigan
Don Porter ... Art Fraser
Jerome Cowan ... Marco Heller
Mary Wickes ... Juliet Collins
Ludwig Stössel ... Dr. Anton Marek
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Storyline

Two dumb soda jerks dream of writing radio mysteries. When they try to pitch an idea at a radio station, they end up in the middle of a real murder when the station owner is killed during a broadcast.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 November 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Deux nigauds détectives See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For a murder mystery set in a radio studio, the film certainly had its share of personalities who themselves were radio actors. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello had been introduced to the nation on "The Kate Smith Hour," and in 1942 when this film was made had their own highly successful radio show. William Bendix (Detective Brannigan) was a bit player in radio at the time, but beginning in 1944 would become famous for his radio show (and later film and television series) The Life of Riley (1953). Walter Tetley (the prankster usher) was an accomplished adult radio actor whose unique voice allowed him to play children roles on a variety of shows, most notably "The Great Gildersleeve" and "The Phil Harris/Alice Faye Show." Finally, William Gargan (Detective Moran) starred in his own radio show, "Barry Craig, Confidential Investigator." See more »

Goofs

When the knife is thrown into the Murder At Midnight sign, you can see it's going along a string. See more »

Quotes

Col. J.R. Andrews: Mr. Turner, may I remind you that I have a contact for your services, and I intend to exercise it.
Jimmy Turner: You'll get plenty of exercise trying to find me.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 20 to 1: Big Screen Buddies (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A & C return to that other popular entertainment medium of the 1940s
9 December 2005 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

We think of Abbott and Costello as burlesque comics, but the medium that gave them the national exposure allowing them to go into film was radio. It was on radio that the sharpness of such routines as "Who's On First" was demonstrated to millions, laying the groundwork for the film audience that Universal benefited by. And it was WHO DONE IT? that was their film about radio. They are soda jerks in a restaurant in the building that a radio station is headquartered in. They both want to break into radio. But when they are finally on the premises of the station, they are among the witnesses (and suspects) at the murder of the station's owner (Thomas Gomez). Due to Costello's continuous ability to make errors, they are suspected of the murder by the two detectives (William Gargan and William Bendix) who are assigned to the case. They are determined to try to solve the case and clear themselves.

Gargan and Bendix were ideal foils for A & C, especially Bendix who meets Costello's dumb with dumber. The nadir for both cops is when they are guarding the front of the office building from Abbott and Costello entering it while the investigation is continuing. Bud and Lou, determined to enter the building, walk in backwards, so the cops think they are seeing them walk out (at least momentarily). Rumor has it that Costello determined never to make another film with Bendix - he was jealous of the latter's getting more laughs than him. It may be true, but then Lou was doing pretty well on his own here.

As it is a war picture, the mystery also deals with a spy ring. The actual perpetrator is a surprise of sorts at the end. A good comedy, I give it 8 out of 10.


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