Who Done It? (1942) 720p

Movie Poster
Who Done It? (1942) bluray - Movie Poster
Comedy | Film-Noir
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
0 min
IMDB Rating:
7.5 / 10 
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Directors: Erle C. Kenton [Director] ,

Movie Description:
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.


  • Who Done It? (1942) bluray - Movie Scene 1
  • Who Done It? (1942) bluray - Movie Scene 2
  • Who Done It? (1942) bluray - Movie Scene 1

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Silly but very amusing

I admire and enjoy Costello's manic energy. He may do a lot of the same things again and again but certain humorous ideas never get old. He must execute 30 double-takes throughout the movie but they're all amusing. He's like a child with constant ups and downs of excitement and confusion. He often becomes flustered and then grabs his hat, needs to be held back, bumps his head into something or falls over. It's very silly but the way he does it is inherently funny.

The story here isn't of much consequence. You really have to suspend disbelief because the plot has huge gaps and the characters put up with all kinds of ridiculous things. Abbott and Costello movies seem to function by taking a standard movie format and sticking them in the middle, free to roam and tinker, create any skits or jokes they might imagine.

Here they're thrown into a murder mystery, a whodunnit. They work in an ice cream parlour as a way to be close to a radio station. They like writing murder mysteries and want to get a chance to be on the air. A man is murdered during one of the night shows (about murder) and then they pretend to be detectives investigating the crime. They run into the murderer a number of times as well as many suspects. But even more often they have hijinks with the actual detectives working the case.

Many of their movies feature a famous movie monster like Frankenstein or The Mummy. We still get the aspect of horror in this movie via the murderer. Abbott and Costello remind me of Scooby Doo cartoons, the way Shaggy and Scooby are constantly running into ghosts or monsters and scaring themselves silly. The format seems very similar with a lot of the same gags. Costello often becomes speechless and starts to stutter and then either faints or sprints away.

Highlights would include Costello leaving silhouette outlines after bursting through doors and then getting stuck in a wall, the water bubbler bit, the accidental or intentional playback of radio recordings which someone then thinks is really happening, tricking a police officer into cuffing himself, jumping around on stage during a show as part of a chase sequence. There's also a funny bit about Watts and Volts which is reminiscent of their famous skit about baseball positions. In fact, they overhear their baseball skit on a radio at one point and Costello remarks that he doesn't like it much, that the short fat guy isn't any good.

This isn't a brilliant satire or even a parody of whodunnits, it's purely a lowbrow comedy. But it's got a lot of energy and funny ideas. As long as you're willing to be patient with its silliness and not worry about the story or characters making sense, you should have a very enjoyable time. I found myself laughing at many points without knowing or caring exactly why.

One of Abbott and Costello's Best Movies

This is one of my favorite Abbott and Costello movies. Bud and Lou play aspiring writers trying to get a job at a radio station writing murder mysteries. When a real murder occurs at the station, the boys rush to investigate because Bud thinks this will land them the jobs. Top supporting cast includes Patric Knowles, William Bendix, Thomas Gomez, Mary Wickes, Jerome Cowan, and Louise Allbritton. Louise is gorgeous here. A year later she would have black hair in Son of Dracula and look like a completely different person. She looks so much better as a blonde. Walter Tetley is great as a teenage elevator operator who has several funny bits with Lou throughout the movie. Really good movie. Abbott and Costello had great success combining comedy with other genres, particularly horror and mystery. This is one of their best and probably in their top five.

Murder At Midnight.

Abbott & Costello play two soda jerks(old-fashioned term) named Chick Larkin & Mervin Milgrim who have a great idea for a radio mystery show they are big fans of. Patrick Knowles and Louise Albritten play bickering love interests who can't come to an agreement over his employment, leaving a big opportunity for the guys. Unfortunately, the station manager is murdered in a live radio broadcast, and Chick & Mervin are prime suspects, so they decide to investigate the murder themselves, and unmask the real culprit. Very funny comedy is briskly paced, with no musical numbers for a (welcome) change; the focus is on the comedy, with many memorable and clever scenes, like "Volts & Watts", and the madcap chase finale.
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