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Crazy House (1943 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Crazy House
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Theatrical poster
Directed byEdward F. Cline
Written byRobert Lees
Frederic I. Rinaldo
StarringOle Olsen
Chic Johnson
Cass Daley
CinematographyCharles Van Enger
Edited byArthur Hilton
Music byGeorge Hale
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • October 8, 1943 (1943-10-08) (U.S.)
  • May 22, 1944 (1944-05-22) (Sweden)
  • July 31, 1950 (1950-07-31) (Denmark)
Running time
80 min.
CountryUnited States
Box office$1 million (US rentals)[1]

Crazy House is a 1943 comedy film starring Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson as Broadway stars who return to Universal Studios to make another movie. The mere mention of Olsen and Johnson's names evacuates the studio and terrorizes the management and personnel. Undaunted, the comedians hire an assistant director and unknown talent, and set out to make their own movie. Financed by an eccentric "angel" (Percy Kilbride), the completed feature is set to premiere when angry creditors confiscate most of the film. Olsen and Johnson keep the preview going, anyway, and their venture is a success.

Crazy House is notable for its impressive cast of supporting comedians (Percy Kilbride, Cass Daley, Shemp Howard, Edgar Kennedy, Franklin Pangborn, Billy Gilbert, Richard Lane, Andrew Tombes, Chester Clute, and Hans Conried) and guest stars under contract to Universal at the time (Allan Jones, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, Robert Paige, Leo Carrillo, Johnny Mack Brown, and Andy Devine).


  • Cameo appearances by Allan Jones, Leo Carrillo, Andy Devine, Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Johnny Mack Brown, Robert Paige, Ramsay Ames


Crazy House was the first of three Olsen & Johnson vehicles following up the success of their 1941 film Hellzapoppin'. The team's wild style of comedy had always been a matter of taste, more for "plain folks" than sophisticates, and contemporary exhibitor reports ran the gamut: "Just made for small towns. Some people said it was the best picture we had shown in months." (F. R. Crist, Crist Theatre, Loveland, Ohio.)[3] "These boys are not appreciated here. However, it was played to average business and drew many laughs from those who came in." (C. A. Smith, Regent Theatre, Chapleau, Ontario.)[4] "This picture is just what the name implies. We did below average business and I received no favorable comments from my patrons." (Charles A. Brooks, Ritz Theatre, Marshfield, Missouri.)[5] "This is the first Olsen and Johnson I've ever played and it's the last. This feature is terrible." (O. E. Simon, Roxy Theatre, Menno, South Dakota.)[6]

The film did well in first-run engagements, grossing more than one million dollars. However, the high budget cut into the profit margin, so Universal economized on Olsen & Johnson's next two features, Ghost Catchers and See My Lawyer.[7]


  1. ^ "Top Grossers of the Season", Variety, January 5, 1944, p. 54
  2. ^ "James Dime". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  3. ^ Motion Picture Herald, December 25, 1943, p. 55.
  4. ^ Motion Picture Herald, March 14, 1944, p. 82.
  5. ^ Motion Picture Herald, May 27, 1944, p. 58.
  6. ^ Motion Picture Herald, December 25, 1943, p. 70.
  7. ^ Scott MacGillivray and Jan MacGillivray, Gloria Jean: A Little Bit of Heaven, iUniverse, Bloomington, IN, 2005, p. 146. ISBN 978-0-595-67454-1.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 August 2022, at 04:09
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