Description

Hellzapoppin’ is a 1941 film adaptation of Hellzapoppin’, the musical that ran on Broadway from 1938 to 1941. It was a production for Universal Pictures directed by H. C. Potter.[2] The cast includes Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson, both who produced and starred in the musical on Broadway, as well as Martha Raye, Mischa Auer, Shemp Howard, Slim and Slam, and Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers. The film is fourth wall breaking and full of surreal humour.

Plot:

Shemp Howard begins the film as the projectionist of a cinema, displaying on its screen what appears to be the start of a song-and-dance number including classily dressed performers walking down a staircase. The staircase collapses as in a fun-house ride, sliding them all straight to hell, where they are tortured by demons. Ole and Chic arrive in the midst of the mayhem by taxi, and after a bit of funny business, step back to reveal that it’s a movie sound stage. They work for Miracle Pictures, a company using the slogan “If it’s a good picture, it’s a Miracle!” A mousy screenwriter played by Elisha Cook, Jr. outlines his script for the screen adaptation of Hellzapoppin’, and the rest of the movie depicts Cook’s script.

Cast:

Ole Olsen as Ole Olsen
Chic Johnson as Chic Johnson
Martha Raye as Betty Johnson
Hugh Herbert as Quimby
Jane Frazee as Kitty Rand
Robert Paige as Jeff Hunter
Mischa Auer as Pepi
Dick Lane as Director
Lewis Howard as Woody Taylor
Clarence Kolb as Andrew Rand
Nella Walker as Mrs. Rand
Shemp Howard as Louie
Elisha Cook Jr. as Harry Selby
Frank Darien as Man calling for Mrs. Jones
Catherine Johnson as Lena, lady looking for Oscar
Gus Schilling as Orchestra Conductor
Slim Gaillard as himself, part of Slim and Slam
Slam Stewart as himself, part of Slim and Slam
Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers (including Norma Miller as a cook and Frankie Manning) as the Harlem Congaroos
Gil Perkins as Butler in Pool (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel as Frankenstein’s monster (uncredited)

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