The Dummy Talks (1943)

Claude Hulbert

Claude Hulbert

Claude Hulbert stars as a wacky policeman in this inept comedy about murder at the Music Hall. There are a lot of performances throughout the movie to break up the lack of storyline.

Piers Harriman is a Scotland Yard detective with a box seat at the theater. He’s doesn’t let on he’s a detective. During the mind reading act the psychic’s assistant asks him to read a number off a five pound note Harriman is carrying. The note is counterfeit.

Ventriloquist Russell Warren knows the forger is performer Peggy Royce’s brother Jimmy. He tells her if she doesn’t marry him he’ll call the cops and turn Jimmy in. Special Reserve copper Victor Harbord (Claude Hulbert) is also looking for the forger.

Warren gave up his spot on stage so he could tell Peggy what he wanted. Now he has to go back on after the debut of performer Jack (Blue Pencil) Warner. He refuses to follow an unproven act. The stage manager demands he go on and calls Mr.Yates the theatre owner. Yates lets Warren have his way and the niece’s debut is cancelled..

Later, Harriman discovers Warren has been stabbed in his dressing room. He tells Yates but asks him to keep it quiet and put out the word no one from the cast is allowed to leave the theatre. Victor continues to bumble along and get nowhere. He’s also been trying to get Peggy in a romance.

The ending is really lame as Harriman calls his suspects into a room and has the mind reader look into a crystal ball. He has a midget dress as Warren’s dummy so he can talk and identify the murderer when the mind reader calls out for him to speak.

If you like that era of English vaudeville then you’ll go for this. Other than that the anemic mystery plot isn’t worth it.

Claude Hulbert was one of the most popular comedians of the era.

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
This entry was posted in British Movies, Comedy, Crime-Mystery-Spy, vintage movies, vintage music and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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