Published on March 4th, 2013 | by Chris2
On The Double (1961)
Lets keep rolling with the comedies, and take a look at On The Double. Starring the always classy Danny Kaye, Dana Wynter, and the unmistakable Wilfred Hyde-White....
American Private Ernie Williams (Danny Kaye) has a unique talent for impersonations. This talent gets him in deep water for impersonating the local British commander, Colonel MacKenzie. As luck would have it, this talent also gets him the distinct honor of actually serving as a double for MacKenzie for a while, but Lady Margaret MacKenzie (Dana Wynter) isn't fooled. The real MacKenzie is a womanizing ass, but this new model seems to agree with her.
Well, various comedic episodes involving Williams totally cocking up MacKenzie's personality (and everyone falling for it) are overshadowed by the revelation of a sinister plot. Somebody is out to murder the good Colonel, and it becomes clear that Williams is just there as a target.
As (bad) luck would have it, Williams is abducted by the Nazis and taken to Berlin, where the Germans are given a full dose and a half of Williams' MacKenzie impersonation, along with a big gulp of misinformation regarding the D-Day invasion. Once escaped and back in good old England, the espionage doesn't stop there. He's discovered by the mole and put up for execution...
I railed on Jerry Lewis a few days ago for The Sad Sack. This, however, is more my style of comedy. Kaye is always a class act, despite the inevitable musical numbers (surprisingly there is only one, well three if you count the Scottish dance bit and the German cabaret scene, I don't) in his pictures his brand of humor and that unmistakable class is just, well, always brilliant. Still the case here. I really can't put my finger on why that is, but there you go.
On The Double is funny (without being stupid), smart, surprisingly sexy for 1961, and just a good foray into wartime comedy. I'm sure I'll hear about it, but I have to go with a probably too high 3.7/5.
And wouldn't you know it, the best I can come up with for a clip are these two bits that are spoken over in what sounds like Russian. Sigh. Too bad.
On the Double
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A weak-kneed GI agrees to impersonate a British general to confuse the Nazis about D-Day.
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Manufacturer: Olive Films
Original Release Date:
- Danny Kaye
- Dana Wynter
- Wilfrid Hyde-White
- Margaret Rutherford
- Diana Dors
- Factory sealed DVD
76 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Danny Kaye does double duty,
This review is from: On the Double (DVD)After the success of his dramatic turn in "The Five Pennies", Danny Kaye returned to comedy at the tail end of his film career. Fortunately, "On The Double" is probably his last great film, a jaunty WWII intrigue-filled farce about a timid American soldier (Kaye) tapped by the military to serve as a decoy for a famous British Colonel (who's targeted for death by the Nazis) after it's discovered he's a dead ringer for the man. From there, poor Kaye fumbles through his role as the stakes get higher, involving himself in the Colonel's personal entanglements with his lovely but underappreciated wife (Dana Wynter) and amorous chauffeur (Diana Dors). As with Kaye's best films, this one relies on his special gifts for dialect, wordplay & rubber-faced timing. Just watch Kaye as he does his stuff in such hilarious comedy pieces as a military innoculation ceremony; a "dignified" ballroom complete with lost contact lenses, a wild Scottish dance, and food fight; and a climactic gag marathon of... Read more
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not Danny's greatest, but fun,
This review is from: On the Double (DVD)
Danny plays Pfc. Ernie Williams, a WW2 GI who happens to be a dead ringer for British General MacKenzie. When the General (who happens to be in charge of the British part of the upcoming invasion of Europe) has to sneak away to attend a secret meeting Danny's character is recruited to take his place for a few days. When the General's plane crashes Danny is suddenly the target of German assassins who think he is really the General. He is captured and taken to Germany. His escape is one of the funniest segments you will ever see in a movies. On top of that he sings a beautiful lullabye, "Darlin' Meggie", that I would love to get a recording of. It may not have all the belly laughs of "The Court Jester" (his all-time best) or "The Inspector General" but it still rate right up there. I enjoyed it and I think you will too.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Searched 15 years for this movie!!!,
This review is from: On the Double (DVD)
On The Double, Wonderman and Court Jester are my 3 top favorites for Danny Kaye's hilarious comedy. I had a VHS taped version of On The Double from the television that was about 20 years old (low quality and full of commercials and cutoff about halfway) so I am very pleased to get the DVD version. The only things that would make the DVD release better is special features but I'm not complaining. Danny Kaye at his best! Look into his other films such as Five Pennies and White Christmas. Great, clean entertainment for the whole family.
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Summary: Funny, smart, sexy, and classy with Danny Kaye. What else do you want, really?