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One Body Too Many

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One Body Too Many
Promotional release poster
Directed byFrank McDonald
Written byWinston Miller
Maxwell Shane
Produced byWilliam H. Pine
William C. Thomas
StarringJack Haley
Jean Parker
Maxine Fife
Bela Lugosi
Lyle Talbot
CinematographyFred Jackman Jr.
Edited byHenry Adams
Music byAlexander Laszlo
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • November 24, 1944 (1944-11-24)
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States

One Body Too Many is a 1944 American comedy-mystery film directed by Frank McDonald, starring Bela Lugosi, Jack Haley and Lyle Talbot. The film was the second comedy featuring Haley to be produced by Pine-Thomas Productions, part of the studio's new direction towards comedy films. The original intention was to hire Boris Karloff for the film's key horror role, but Lugosi was hired instead.

The film is set in the mansion of a recently deceased millionaire. An insurance salesman arrives by coincidence, and he is mistaken for the private detective supposed to guard the corpse. The terms of the millionaire's will depend on whether he is buried according to his wishes or not. One of the potential heirs has decided to steal the corpse, and they are willing to kill the new guard.

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A timid insurance salesman Albert L. Tuttle (Jack Haley) visits eccentric millionaire Cyrus J. Rutherford, intent on selling him a $200,000 insurance deal. Instead he finds that Rutherford has recently died and his mansion is now full of relatives who are, according to the will, all bound to remain in the mansion until a glass-domed vault is constructed on the roof, to house the deceased millionaire who was an ardent follower of the stars.

Tuttle is mistaken for a private detective sent to guard the body, and once the confusion is cleared up and the real detective fails to show, he is persuaded by Rutherford's niece Carol Dunlap (Jean Parker) to remain and ensure that the body is not stolen. If the body should be buried any place other than the vault, the will states that recipients who would receive the largest request will receive the smallest, and vice versa.

One of the recipients plans to reverse the will in their favor, hide the body and kill anyone who gets in their way. Unfortunately for the mild-mannered Tuttle, he is directly in the way of the killer, and the rest of the conniving family.



Pine-Thomas Productions originally specialised in action films but decided to move into comedy and signed Jack Haley to star in movies for the company. This was his second comedy for Pine-Thomas.[1]

Pine and Thomas originally wanted Boris Karloff for the key horror role.[2] Frank McDonald signed to direct in December 1943, when it was known as Too Many Bodies.[3] Eventually Bela Lugosi was signed.[4]

See also


  1. ^ SCREEN AND STAGE Los Angeles Times 15 July 1943: 12.
  2. ^ SCREEN AND STAGE: Hedda Hopper LOOKING AT HOLLYWOOD Los Angeles Times 21 July 1943: 10.
  3. ^ SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD New York Times 21 Dec 1943: 25.
  4. ^ DRAMA AND FILM Los Angeles Times 18 Dec 1943: 7.

External links

This page was last edited on 8 April 2024, at 11:27
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