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A screwball comedy with few rivals, Hi Diddle Diddle (1943) and all its madcap glory makes its Blu-ray debut from ClassicFlix.
With time ticking away on his 48-hour leave, sailor Sonny Phyffe (Dennis O’Keefe) ties the knot with his socialite sweetheart, Janie Prescott (Martha Scott). The newlyweds are all set to start their honeymoon when a snowballing series of wacky occurrences threatens to roadblock every avenue of marital bliss!
The trouble all started at the wedding ceremony when it was learned that Janie’s dotty dowager mother (Billie Burke) had dissipated her $50,000 nest egg through both bad investments and a casino’s crooked roulette wheel. Wanting to help, Sonny’s con man father (Adolphe Menjou) vows to restore Mrs. Prescott’s fortunes, but insists on the help of his bridegroom son almost immediately after he utters the words “I do”.
Scripted by Edmund L. Hartmann (who’d later go on to TV triumphs like My Three Sons and Family Affair) and Frederick J. Jackson (Stormy Weather), and directed-produced by Andrew L. Stone (Cry Terror!), Hi Diddle Diddle is a true romp in the classic screwball tradition, anchored by such zany comedic veterans as Billie Burke, Adolphe Menjou and Dennis O’Keefe. The film’s cast also features such favorites as Martha Scott, June Havoc (who performs two musical numbers), Walter Kingsford, Eddie Marr, Chick Chandler, Joe Devlin, Andrew Tombes, Byron Foulger and Lorraine Miller (as the “special friend” of the director).
Hi Diddle Diddle is also noteworthy for two things: first, the presence of silent screen legend Pola Negri (a comic riot as the opera-singing wife of Menjou) in her first English language film since 1932’s A Woman Commands (Negri would only make one additional film, the Walt Disney feature The Moon-Spinners in 1964). The second is the surrealistic animated wallpaper which comes to life later in the film courtesy of the Leon Schlesinger Studios (home of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig)!"