JACK BENNY vs. FRED ALLEN FEUD

JACK BENNY vs. FRED ALLEN FEUD

 

LOVE THEY NEIGHBOR

Love Thy Neighbor was produced to capitalize on the famous radio feud between comedians Jack Benny and Fred Allen. The two stars (actually friends in real life) play "themselves," constantly at each other's throats due to real and imagined slights. Benny complicates matters by falling in love with Allen's niece, played by Mary Martin. The battling comics briefly patch up their differences when Benny rescues Allen from an out of control motorboat, but the truce doesn't last long.

The final scene takes place during a musical revue starring Benny, which Allen tries to break up with a slingshot. The Benny-Allen feud was already old news by the time of Love Thy Neighbor, and the film is merely an uninspired attenuation of a threadbare premise. The result is a letdown for fans of both Jack Benny and Fred Allen--though there are a handful of genuinely funny one-liners, as well as adroit supporting contributions from Mary Martin and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. The best scene in Love Thy Neighbor is the animated opening-credits sequence, produced by Warner Bros.' "Looney Tunes" mentor Leon Schlesinger.


IT’S IN THE BAG


Based on the popular Russian novel The Twelve Chairs, this stars Fred Allen as flea-circus impresario Fred Floogle. Learning that he's inherited $12 million from his uncle, Fred also discovers that the money has been stuffed in one of thirteen chairs that he's sold at auction.

The rest of the film goes off on any number of hilarious tangents, each tied-in ever so tenuously to the plot. Included is an episode at the movies (Fred and his wife Binnie Barnes are continually escorted up several balcony steps and out several alleyway doors), a visit to Floogle's radio cohort Mrs. Nussbaum (Minerva Pious), a brief misadventure with Jack Benny (this time Benny has a hat-check girl in his hall closet, so that he can collect tips from visitors), an impromptu barbershop quartet session with Fred, Rudy Vallee, Don Ameche and Victor Moore, and a confrontation with the dreaded William Bendix mob (Bendix isn't really a gangster; he simply inherited the mob from his mother).

Also weaving in and out of the proceedings are John Carradine as a crooked attorney, Robert Benchley as Fred's pompous in-law-to-be, Sidney Toler as a popcorn-munching detective, and Jerry Colonna as Fred's live-in psychiatrist. Two versions of this film exists, one without Fred Allen's ongoing voice over narration.

Jack Benny vs. Fred Allen Feud - 2 Rare Classic Movies
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