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Insurance salesman Albert Tuttle arrives at the Cyrus J. Rutherford estate to sell the millionaire some life insurance. Rutherford is already dead and his heirs have gathered at the mansion to hear the reading of the will. Rutherford's will won't be read until he is properly entombed and the heirs are forced to stay on the premises or be denied their inheritance. Tuttle soon finds himself mixed up in shenanigans involving Rutherford's niece, secret passages, a missing body and murder.Written by
Filming January 12-February 1944, not released until October. See more »
[on the phone]
Yeah, yeah, I know. But call me tomorrow. I gotta get outta here.
Hey, Tuttle. I got a date for you tonight. Dot's cousin just got into town and you and I...
I already have an engagement. I've had it for over a month: with Cyrus J. Rutherford.
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You might not think so from the looks of it, but "One Body Too Many" actually is a hilarious spoof / comedy instead of an eerie horror film! Sure, it involves a creepy old mansion and Bela Lugosi as a suspicious butler, which both are elements that featured in nearly every typical horror movie made in the 1940's, but the screenplay is very comical and actually a lot better than all those poverty row horror movies that tried to be genuinely horrific...but failed. This totally unexpected surprise in tone feels very original and really forced me to love this little movie! The story opens with one of the greatest cliché in the genre, when a family of greedy bastards gathers in the old mansion to hear the will of deceased uncle Cyrus. The rich but eccentric uncle insisted on peculiar burial accommodations and, before they can be completed, the heirs & heiresses reluctantly have to spend a couple of days together. In case anyone leaves, or in case uncle Cyres doesn't get buried like he wanted to, the will is altered. Insurance agent Albert Tuttle is mistaken for a private detective but, at the request of lovely niece Carol, he stays to watch over the corpse. This film is FUNNY! The Albert Tuttle character is FUNNY! He's the perfect anti-hero; cowardly and always the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has some of the most hilarious lines and his facial expressions more than once evoke spontaneous chuckles. "One Body Too Many" makes great use of the typical haunted-house setting with the endless network of secret passages and dark towers. The actual search for the mysterious saboteur is also quite interesting and full of neat twists and red herrings. Horror veteran Bela Lugosi is downright marvelous in his supporting role of butler. He constantly walks around the house offering people cups of coffee which, I think, is a homage/spoof toward the butler-character Boris Karloff played in "The Old Dark House" (always supplying the guests with more potatoes). I had very low expectations on this film but I really ended up loving it! Highly recommended!
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