Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Inspector General (1949)

Based on a 19th Century satiric play by Nicolai Gogol. Danny Kaye plays Georgi, who works for the conniving Yakov (Walter Slezak), traveling around the countryside selling "Yakov's elixir" which purportedly cures all kinds of illnesses. However, they are forced to flee when Georgi tries to stop an elderly woman from wasting her money on the elixir. Yakov sends Georgi away until he can learn to be crooked. They've been using a fake document signed by Napoleon in their sales pitch. Georgi is carrying it when he is arrested by the town constable (Alan Hale Sr.). When the letter is discovered by the town officials they panic in preparation for a visit by Napoleon's Inspector General to check their records and mistake Georgi for the inspector. Yakov arrives in town and quickly pretends he is the "Inspector's" servant.

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