The Inspector General 1949

Amazon Instant Video

(18) IMDb 6.9/10
Available on Prime

Set in 19th century Russia, Danny Kaye plays an illiterate stooge from a travelling medicine show. When he wanders into a corrupt town, he's mistaken for the Inspector General in disguise. Fearing he'll uncover their tax dodges, they try to kill him to get him out of the way and all mayhem breaks out.

Starring:
Danny Kaye, Walter Slezak
Runtime:
1 hour 41 minutes

The Inspector General

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, Musicals, Dance & Theatre, Music
Director Henry Koster
Starring Danny Kaye, Walter Slezak
Supporting actors Elsa Lanchester, Gene Lockhart, Alan Hale, Barbara Bates, Else Lanchester
Studio Film Chest
BBFC rating Universal, suitable for all
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stephen Kennedy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Feb 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A weak but pleasant farce based on a play, there's really only one reason to watch this movie, and that is Danny Kaye. The man had a unique talent for making tongue twisting lyrics not only possible but intelligible. This movie is no exception, with a few witty songs, fewer still witty moments, and more than soupcon of gurning along the way.

In terms of content, the style is light and frothy, with the satirical nature of Gogol's play on which the movie is based is sweetened away almost in its entirety. Message filled farce has given way to Danny Kaye vehicle, often way over the top. That said, it does raise a smile with infectious humour. There are a few good lines.. "Oh, I love my family, but I'd give my six kids to get rid of my wife.", and the twisting of the original lyrics to a well known song.. "Drink to me only wi-ith thine eye-eyes / And I will drink with my nose!".

The Gypsy song is probably the highlight, as Kaye gets the crowd participation (zzzum - shtok shtok - hahaha ... watch the movie and you'll know what I am talking about..).

If you're a Danny Kaye fan then you'll likely enjoy, but if you don't care for his style this movie will certainly not win you over.

This DVD version is particularly poor, with a very poor transfer of the original Technicolor. I assume this is the common public domain Eastmancolor 16mm transfer, rather than the superior 35mm Technicolour print which seems rare to find. The sound is also weak and scratchy. Danny Kaye needs larger than life colour and sound to match his larger than life comedy, and I suggest that if you have not seen it before or even want to relive the highlights, wait a bit longer to see if they will finally release a restored remastered version which would do the material better justice.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. G. Ayudhya on 2 April 2009
Format: DVD
One of Danny Kaye's best alongside with "Court Jester" and "Wonder Man".
Recommend for one who looking for a light-heart commedy with plenty of slapsticks though the picture quality is not quite satisfactory.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Buon Natal on 8 Jan 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
this is yet another happy,funny family film by Danny Kaye,lovely voice too.
I watched this over Christmas whilst stuck in bed with Flu,cheered me up no end!!
Looking for more of his films to buy from Amazon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. E. Van Praagh on 2 Aug 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The film The Inspector General is a classic. It's picture quality could use quite some improvements, but that's not something to complain about on a 1949 picture with a lot fewer ambitions towards longevity than has proved the case. The DVD treatment here is weak. The original's sound quality may not be very good, but seems to have been left completely unaltered. Which means you can't understand much of the dialogue. Now, usually, turning on subtitles will solve most problems with that. But, you guessed it: there are no subtitles here. Not for the hard of hearing, not in other languages. Nothing.

I still very much enjoyed watching it, as I had seen it on television before two or three times. This one is filled with excellent jokes by that Court Jester (watch that one too!) Danny Kaye. Kaye is a tramp who finds himself mistaken for the Inspector General of the Czar of Russia, who, the local dignitaries assume, has travelled to their small town under cover. All kinds of misunderstandings and Kaye's evil former employer make the story run apace, especially if you consider the age of this film. Without revealing all the details, 2 things stand out. First, Kaye is continually being put into the clothes of the town's chief constable, even when he smears them with dirt, until the poor fellow is left with not much to wear himself. Second, Kaye solliloquies and bursts into song with three alternative selves: the Arrogant, the Elegant and the Smart. A technical marvel of film making at the time (like Jerry Mouse dancing with Gene Kelly) and a very funny scene.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sweetpea20 on 4 May 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
for got how funny danny kaye was but loved every minute of the film and to think I can watch it over again lovely
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Danny Kaye was a wonderful performer, he would sing, dance, tell jokes, turn his face into rubber and just generally come off as a quality humanitarian. The Inspector General showcases all of those talents. Directed by Henry Koster, The Inspector General is loosely adapted from Nikolai Gogol's classic Russian story, and it finds Kaye as a stooge of Walter Slezak's iffy tonic peddler who is mistaken by iffy officials of a small Russian town for the much feared and respected Inspector General. Cue mistaken identity mayhem as the music numbers, gags, visual contortions and all round slapstick ensues. Along for the ride are Elsa Lanchester, Alan Hale, Barbara Bates and Gene Lockhart.

It's more a safe and solid Kaye movie for the family to enjoy, rather than a high end classic like The Court Jester, but sometimes the high energy jinks of Kaye is all you need to lift the blues away. 7/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kekeris Georgios on 26 Mar 2011
Format: DVD
Ok, let me get this straight.
The movie itself could get a five only for the "shtock-shtock" scene (Gypsy Drinking Song), but I have to start getting stiff with the subtitle/captions phenomenon.

So, one star goes out for the DVD company not bothering to include any subs or closed captions,
and one star goes out for Amazon not informing their customers about that on the product's page.

The verdict?
If you can cope with the absence of subs, by all means, buy this film, you will enjoy it.
If you can't, get "The Court Jester" instead. Same low price, same fun, including subs.
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