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Mister Universe (1951)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance, Sport | 10 January 1951 (USA)
A gullible and honest "Mr. Universe" winner, Tommy Tomkins, gets added to the stable of a con-man and a wrestling prompter. He wins match after match, legitimately, and then balks when he ... See full summary »


Joseph Lerner


Searle Kramer (original screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Carson ... Jeff Clayton
Janis Paige ... Lorraine
Vince Edwards ... Tommy Tomkins (as Vincent Edwards)
Bert Lahr ... Joe Pulaski
Robert Alda ... Fingers Maroni
Maxie Rosenbloom ... Big Ears, the Trainer (as Slapsy Maxie Rosenbloom)
Joyce Mathews ... Maroni's Moll (as Joyce Matthews)
Harry Landers ... Henchman
Donald Novis Donald Novis ... Singer
Murray Rothenberg Murray Rothenberg ... Reporter
Dennis James ... Announcer
The Missing Link The Missing Link ... Wrestler - The Missing Link
Chief Flying Mare Chief Flying Mare ... Wrestler - Chief Flying Mare
Gorilla Hogan Gorilla Hogan ... Wrestler - Gorilla Hogan
Newton the Teuton Newton the Teuton ... Wrestler - Newton the Teuton


A gullible and honest "Mr. Universe" winner, Tommy Tomkins, gets added to the stable of a con-man and a wrestling prompter. He wins match after match, legitimately, and then balks when he is told he must lose a match, as all in the phony-sport of professional wrestling must do at one time or another.A complication arises when Tommy can not be taught to be dishonest. Complications also arise when a gangster tries to buy in on the setup. A "comedy" film based on the tragic career of prizefighter Primo Canera. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HE'S A GLADIATOR OF THE MAT... from his TIPPY TOE-HOLDS to his CURLY HEAD-LOCKS! (original poster) See more »


Comedy | Romance | Sport


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 January 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mr. Universe See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Laurel Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This was the film debut of the dark haired and normally very hairy chested Vince Edwards, who had to undergo a full body wax treatment, and have his hair dyed blonde, in order to play the role. See more »


Spoofed in Love Thy Neighbour: Refused a Drink (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

If you've got some time to spare and can find it, this film is worth at least half-a box of popcorn.
15 April 1999 | by briskySee all my reviews

Long before he was Ben Casey, Vince Edwards dyed his hair platinum blonde, pumped iron and turned himself into quite the handsome little bodybuilding studboy. Taking note of his "natural" attributes, this little serio-comedy/gangster film takes place in a gym where down on his luck promoter Jack Carson takes a Mr. Universe contestant (Vince Edwards) and turns him into a professional wrestler (in the best tradition of Gorgeous George). Burt Lahr and Janis Paige do their best to pump life into this low budget retread and former champion Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom is thrown into the mix to give the situation some credibility. It just goes to show that the film business ain't all diamonds and caviar when you see the likes of Robert Alda and the normally great Jack Carson literally throwing their respective careers away with this $1.98 production.

There is a classic sequence showing an actual Mr. Universe pageant circa 1950. The bathing suits alone are worth the price of admission and of course there's always a possibility that the brilliantine in Mr. Edwards hair will take over the camera and set, just like the Blob, and obliterate all concerned.

Seriously, watch this film if you want to see 50's beefcake or how low a low budget movie can get.

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