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Let's Talk Turkey (1939)

Passed | | Comedy, Short | 28 October 1939 (USA)
It's Thanksgiving. Newlywed husband Abner Poodlebean faces the turkey his wife has prepared: she wants him to carve it at the table in front of her scowling family, and Abner has no idea ... See full summary »


Felix E. Feist


Thornton Sargent (story), Robert Lees (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


Complete credited cast:
Max O. Cullen ... Self - Turkey Carving Expert (as M.O. Cullen)


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It's Thanksgiving. Newlywed husband Abner Poodlebean faces the turkey his wife has prepared: she wants him to carve it at the table in front of her scowling family, and Abner has no idea how to proceed. The film's narrator has us cut away to the kitchen of chef M.O. Cullen who demonstrates the proper way to carve the bird, spoon out the stuffing, and lay out the platter. Back to Abner, who's missed Cullen's lesson, so he makes a fine mess. Can this marriage survive? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production number 2641. See more »

Crazy Credits

The narrator introduces turkey carving expert, M. O. Cullen, orally. See more »


Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.10 (1955) See more »


Waltz #15 in A flat major ('Lullaby'), Op.39
(1865) (uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
In the score for the opening scene
See more »

User Reviews

How To Carve A Turkey
20 July 2006 | by krorieSee all my reviews

This is a typical Pete Smith Specialty with Dave O'Brien, who later provided much of the slapstick, sorely missed. By the time "Let's Talk Turkey" was released, Pete Smith's voice had become readily recognizable to movie goers. Though narrating with somewhat of a nasal twang, Pete's delivery was highly entertaining, as distinctive as Howard Cosell's a few years later. Pete's scripts were light, breezy, and at times whimsical. The specialties he produced over the years covered a wide range of subjects and topics. They were welcomed by theaters across the nation as popular fillers between features or before a major feature as selected short subjects (one-reelers lasting about ten minutes each).

"Let's Talk Turkey" begins with a demonstration of how to carve a turkey properly. Informative and educational from a cuisine point of view, this part of the specialty is serious instruction. The rest of the short features how not to carve a turkey demonstrated by a newly wed who has been ordered by his new wife to serve the turkey to his in-laws, father-in-law, mother-in-law, and baby brother, who just happens to be the bully, Butch, who got his jollies from tormenting Alfalfa. He looks the part of a bully but has no lines to speak. His facial expressions say it all. This part of "Let's Talk Turkey" is good for a few chuckles.

Certainly not on a level with Laurel and Hardy shorts, the Pete Smith Specialties, including this one, were entertaining little tidbits to watch when returning from the concession stand and settling down for the main feature. They were much better than the Joe McDoakes (George O'Hanlon) one-reelers released during the same time period. G'bye now.

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Release Date:

28 October 1939 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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