6.8/10
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19 user 3 critic

A Southern Yankee (1948)

Not Rated | | Comedy, History, War | 5 August 1948 (USA)
A hapless bellboy in a St. Louis hotel near the end of the Civil War is recruited by the Union secret service to impersonate a notorious Confederate spy.

Director:

Edward Sedgwick

Writers:

Melvin Frank (story), Norman Panama (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Red Skelton ... Aubrey Filmore
Brian Donlevy ... Kurt Devlynn
Arlene Dahl ... Sallyann Weatharby
George Coulouris ... Maj. Jack Drumman aka The Grey Spider
Lloyd Gough ... Capt. Steve Lorford
John Ireland ... Capt. Jed Calbern
Minor Watson ... Gen. Watkins
Charles Dingle ... Col. Weatherby
Art Baker ... Col. Clifford M. Baker
Reed Hadley ... Fred Munsey
Arthur Space ... Mark Haskins
Joyce Compton ... Hortense Dobson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Byron Foulger ... Mr. Duncan (scenes deleted)
Edward Gargan ... Male Nurse (scenes deleted)
Bert Moorhouse ... Capt. Jeffreys (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Aubrey Filmore (Red Skelton) is a bumbling bellboy in a Missouri town who pesters the Union officers there; he desperately wants to be a spy for the North in the American Civil War. When Filmore accidentally waylays an infamous Confederate spy known as "The Grey Spider" and is mistaken for him by the Rebels, the Union brass see it as an opportunity for real espionage - and though Filmore is a coward as well as a fool, his real motivation for derring-do is a sweet Southern girl named Sallyann, whom he will see again behind Southern lines. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What's Rhett Butler Got That Red Skelton Ain't Got? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | History | War | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 August 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Superspion See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,482,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,981,000, 31 December 1948

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,547,000, 31 December 1948
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

No one could figure out a simple, yet funny way to get Aubrey out of the house when he was being held captive by the angry dog. Buster Keaton, employed by MGM as a roving gag man, was called to the set, looked at the set up, and came up with the idea of removing the door hinges and letting the dog in as Aubrey got out. The most famous gag in the movie took Keaton all of five minutes to devise. Buster also contributed other gags some of which he'd done himself years earlier. See more »

Goofs

The identity of the Gray Spider is allegedly only known by Generals Lee, Johnson, and Jackson. Stonewall Jackson had actually died two years earlier in 1863. See more »

Quotes

Col. Clifford M. Baker: Now, when Sally Ann takes you to Confederate headquarters, I want you to try to contact one of our agents down there.
Aubrey Filmore: Yes, sir. What's his name?
Col. Clifford M. Baker: Since we have no idea where she's taking you, I can't tell you which agent you might bump in to.
Aubrey Filmore: Well, how am I going to recognize him?
Col. Clifford M. Baker: By using the phrase "It's nice to be back among the magnolias again". That will identify him.
Aubrey Filmore: "It's nice to be back among the magnolias again."
[Aubrey whispers the phrase to himself once more to memorize it]
Col. Clifford M. Baker: Right. Now...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Our Hospitality (1923) See more »

Soundtracks

Dixie
(uncredited)
Attributed to Daniel Decatur Emmett in 1850s minstrel shows
Instrumental version heard on soundtrack under battle.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A smart and funny comedy
2 June 2004 | by raskimonoSee all my reviews

Red Skelton shines in this funny stereo-typical movie from the forties. All in all, the movies feels as though it was written for Bob Hope whom I personally dislike in the movies. Skelton and Hop both used double entendres and fast quipped one-liners to good effect. The funny plot includes a union hotel bellhop who mistakenly finds and captures the most dangerous spy of the confederates during the civil war and is asked by superiors to impersonate him because if he were caught, it would not matter, he being dispensable. So start the laughs and they come at a minute a dime including a classic scene at a hospital involving a chase and a couple of dentists. Brilliant. Arlene Dahl does what she does and that is look extremely beautiful. It is said Buster Keaton worked behind the scenes on this movie and some have compared it to the General but I don't see the resemblance. The movie it most resembles is Bob hope's The Paleface, a scathological spoof of genres as this movie is. When you get to see it, have fun.


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