Knock On Wood

  • 1954
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Spy, Thriller

An often funny, sight gag variation on Hitchcock's "wrong man" thrillers. Danny Kaye plays Jerry, a ventriloquist with a dummy that talks when he doesn't want it to and insults the customers. His manager (Burns) suggests he see a psychiatrist (Zetterling). Meanwhile, the the plans for a new weapon have been stolen and two rival groups are after them. The...read more

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An often funny, sight gag variation on Hitchcock's "wrong man" thrillers. Danny Kaye plays Jerry, a ventriloquist with a dummy that talks when he doesn't want it to and insults the customers. His manager (Burns) suggests he see a psychiatrist (Zetterling). Meanwhile, the the plans for a new

weapon have been stolen and two rival groups are after them. The blueprints are placed in, you guessed it, the dummy. The spies begin chasing Jerry all over creation and that's where most of the comedy happens.

The entire premise is all an excuse for several of Kaye's best comic set pieces, including his dancing with a Russian ballet troupe to avoid being found by the spies. (Alfred Hitchcock did something similar in THE 39 STEPS when Robert Donat steps in front of a political rally and masquerades as a

speaker while the spys look on.) The chase also leads Kaye into a convention of Irishmen, where he sings "The Drastic, Livid History of Monahan O'Han," penned by Kaye's wife, the writer, Sylvia Fine. The versatile Kaye gets the chance to wear several disguises, to sing a few tunes (including a

nice ballad "All About You"), and, in general, to do what Danny Kaye does best. It's just that sometimes he's more manic than funny and he often doesn't know when to quit.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: An often funny, sight gag variation on Hitchcock's "wrong man" thrillers. Danny Kaye plays Jerry, a ventriloquist with a dummy that talks when he doesn't want it to and insults the customers. His manager (Burns) suggests he see a psychiatrist (Zetterling).… (more)

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