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Poster for Red Skelton's great movie, The Clown

The Clown

Movie review of The Clown (1953) starring Red Skelton, Tim Consadine, Jane Greer

Buy from Having just watched Red Skelton in the serious drama, The Clown, my first reaction is simply, “wow. ” Although it stars Red Skelton, and deals with a clown/comedian as the central character, The Clown is not a comedy.  It is a very serious drama, which left me with a new respect for Red Skelton’s acting ability.

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Red Skelton in a publicity photo for Whistling in Dixie, with the lovely Diana Lewis and Ann Rutherford

Whistling in Dixie

Whistling in Dixie (1942) starring Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford, Rags Ragland

In the sequel to Whistling in the Dark, Red Skelton again plays the role of Wally Benton, ‘The Fox‘. He’s a radio detective, who simply wants to take off two weeks of vacation so he can get married to his long-suffering fiancee Carol Lambert (played by Ann Rutherford).   Wally pretends to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown in order to twist his radio sponsor’s arm in order to get that vacation. Only to have Carol change their plans when she’s contacted by Ellamae (Diana Lewis), her sorority sister from Georgia, U.S.A. Ellamae’s boyfriend appears to have been murdered.   Carol convinces Wally to go down to Georgia to get married. Wally complies, only to get involved in the unraveling mystery.

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Merton of the Movies, starring Red Skelton, Virginia O'Brien

Merton of the Movies

Movie review of Merton of the Movies (1947), starring Red Skelton, Virginia O’Brien

Merton of the Movies is set in the silent movie era of Hollywood. Red Skelton plays the part of Gil Merton, a naive, movie-struck young man. He’s given a chance to be a star …. But he doesn’t realize it. A very funny, and sweet, Red Skelton movie co-starring Virginia O’Brien.

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Whistling in Brooklyn (1943) starring Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford, Rags Ragland

Whistling in Brooklyn

Whistling in Brooklyn (1943) starring Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford, Rags Ragland

Movie review of Red Skelton’s third, and final, appearance as Wally Benton, aka. The Fox. He’s a radio personality and amateur detective. In this installment, The Fox is still trying to marry his fiancee. But he’s on the run from the police after being blamed for multiple murders. Murders committed by the mysterious “Constant Reader”! Danger and comedy in equal parts, with an appearance by the Brooklyn Dodgers as well!

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Excuse My Dust  (1951) starring Red Skelton, Sally Forrest, MacDonald Carey, William Demarest

Excuse My Dust

Excuse My Dust  (1951) starring Red Skelton, Sally Forrest, MacDonald Carey, William Demarest

William Demarest as love interest's father

Buy from Excuse My Dust is a musical vehicle for Red Skelton, set in 1895, that deals with the issues of progress and the resistance to it.   It stars  Red Skelton as Joe Belden, a young inventor who’s determined to build a “horseless carriage”.  This complicates things, since he’s in love with Liz Bullitt (Sally Forrest), whose father (played by  William Demarest, best remembered for his role of Uncle Charlie on  My Three Sons) runs the local livery stable, and sees the “horseless carriage” as a threat to his livelihood.

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Whistling in the Dark  (1941) starring Red Skelton, Conrad Veidt, Ann Rutherford, Eve Arden, Rags Ragland

Whistling in the Dark

Whistling in the Dark was  Red Skelton‘s first starring role, and gave him the opportunity to strut his comedic muscles.   The movie begins with the meeting an odd cult, Silver Haven.  “We part in radiant contentment,” is their recurring phrase.  Silver Haven is quickly revealed as a  scheme to bilk gullible people out of their money.

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Ship Ahoy - a musical comedy starring Eleanor Powell, Red Skelton, Bert Lahr, Virginia O'brien

Ship Ahoy [Eleanor Powell, Red Skelton]

Ship Ahoy (1942) – Red Skelton, Bert Lahr, Eleanor Powell, Virginia O’Brien

Ship Ahoy is a very funny musical-comedy-romance from MGM that begins with Bert Lahr (the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz) in one of his rare film appearances playing Skip Owens.  Skip has fallen hopelessly in love with stage dancer Fran Evans (Virginia O’Brien). She is about to leave for Manila along with the Tommy Dorsey band and the rest of her troupe. The troupe is headlined by Tallulah Winters (Eleanor Powell).   Tallulah is a talented dancer who is taken to see a government agent. He wants her to smuggle a magnetic mine to their people in Manila.

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The Great Diamond Robbery (1953) starring Red Skelton and Cara Williams

The Great Diamond Robbery

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The Great Diamond Robbery (1953) starring Red Skelton and Cara Williams

In The Great Diamond Robbery, Red Skelton plays Ambrose C. Park, a jewel cutter who was abandoned on a park bench as an infant (hence his name – Ambrose Central Park).   He is looking for his family, thinking that finding them will fill the void in his life.   He eats his lunch in Central Park every day across from the bench where he was left as an infant.  Hoping that his parents will come by – to no avail.   In his work life he is a jewel cutter.

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Red Skelton, America's Clown Prince - 6 DVD set

Red Skelton – America’s Clown Prince

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Red Skelton – America’s Clown Prince – 6 DVD Set

Buy from I am a huge fan of Red Skelton, and one of my pet peeves is that even though he had thirty years of prime time television series, it’s not rerun anywhere.   Therefore, I’m truly grateful for Red Skelton – America’s Clown Prince.   In short, it simply is a 6-DVD collection of The Red Skelton Show (technically, a 5-DVD collection of the TV series, with the 6th containing some odds and ends, such as appearances in Sparks, Nevada, movie trailers, Red Skelton’s presentation of the Pledge of Allegiance, etc.).  

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