The Dummy

  • 1929
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime

A dumb picture distinguished only by some oddities; Pitts played a kidnaper; it was March's first movie job (he was busily working on stage in "The Royal Family" at night); Ruth Chatterton was top-billed and had even less to do than March, who never got one close-up; Oakie, Pallette, and Tucker were hardly noticed. Title comes from the fact that Mickey...read more

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A dumb picture distinguished only by some oddities; Pitts played a kidnaper; it was March's first movie job (he was busily working on stage in "The Royal Family" at night); Ruth Chatterton was top-billed and had even less to do than March, who never got one close-up; Oakie, Pallette, and

Tucker were hardly noticed. Title comes from the fact that Mickey Bennett, the office boy in John Cromwell's detective agency, pretends to be deaf and dumb in order to nab the kidnapers who took Chatterton and March's child, Vondell Darr. When Bennett mumbles in his sleep, he's found out by the

miscreants and eventually saved before they can do any harm to him. All ends well as the parents are reunited with their child and Bennett gets a reward for his bravery. Bad sound synchronization and early sound problems make one yearn for the original silent film of this story which starred Jack

Pickford. This was Oakie's fourth film at the age of 26. Oakie was born Lewis Delaney Offield and had several office jobs before making his stage debut at 18 in George M. Cohan's "Little Nellie Kelly" in 1922. Oakie took the old-fashioned "double-take" and added one to make it a "triple-take." No

one else has yet been able to top him at it. Mankiewicz's screenplay was far below his usual standards when you consider that he co-wrote CITIZEN KANE, THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES, THE ENCHANTED COTTAGE, and many more.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A dumb picture distinguished only by some oddities; Pitts played a kidnaper; it was March's first movie job (he was busily working on stage in "The Royal Family" at night); Ruth Chatterton was top-billed and had even less to do than March, who never got on… (more)

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