The Great Rupert is a 1950 comedy family film, produced by George Pal, directed by Irving Pichel and starring Jimmy Durante, Tom Drake and Terry Moore. It is based on a story, written by Ted Allan, which has also been published as a children’s book under the title “Willie the Squowse”.
The story revolves around a little animated squirrel who, with much charm, accidentally helps two economically distressed families overcome their obstacles.
Rosalinda Amendola, the daughter of happy but impoverished former acrobats is in love with the boy next door, aspiring composer Pete Dingle. Though Pete’s parents are wealthy, his miserly father Frank insists on hiding his money from his investments in the wall of their family home.
The situation changes when Joe Mahoney, a vaudeville performer who has fallen on hard times, has to leave his best friend and stage companion, Rupert a dancing squirrel, in Frank and Rosalinda’s town where he will have to fend for himself with the other squirrels and live in a tree. Unsatisfied with tree life, Rupert gains access to the Dingle home and unbeknownst to Frank, has his bed in Frank’s hidden cache of money. Rupert decides to clear room in his domicile by throwing Frank’s money through a hole so that it floats down into the Amendola household who think the money has come from Heaven in answer to Mrs. Amendola’s prayers.
Attracted by Louie Amendola not only paying his debts, but helping all the needy businesses of the town, the FBI, IRS and local police converge on the House of Amendola to discover the source of the family’s wealth.
Jimmy Durante as Mr. Louie Amendola
Terry Moore as Rosalinda Amendola
Tom Drake as Peter ‘Pete’ Dingle
Frank Orth as Mr. Frank Dingle
Sara Haden as Mrs. Katie Dingle
Queenie Smith as Mrs. Amendola
Chick Chandler as Phil Davis
Jimmy Conlin as Joe Mahoney
Rupert, an animated squirrel
Hugh Sanders as Mulligan
Don Beddoe as Mr. Haggerty
Candy Candido as Molineri - Florist
Clancy Cooper as Police Lt. Saunders
Harold Goodwin as Callahan - F.B.I. Man
Frank Cady as Mr. Taney - Tax Investigator
Irving Pichel as Puzzled Pedestrian (uncredited)