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3.8 out of 5 stars12
3.8 out of 5 stars
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When rich man Cyrus J. Rutherford dies all the heirs show up for the reading of a bizarre will. While Cyrus's unique tomb is constructed, the heirs stay in the house. The will insults the heirs, then claims that some will get vasts amounts while others get cab fare. If Cyrus's body is not interned by his wishes then the heirs will swap places, i.e. those that get the most will now get the least. No one knows who is going to get what, they can only guess...or does someone know? Bela plays the butler who tries to give everyone "poisoned" coffee late in the evening, which they all refuse. Jack Haley (The Tin Man) plays an insurance agent who shows up to sell the dead Cyrus a policy, not knowing he is deceased. The guests mistake him for the detective they hired to guard the body.

Of course Bela is not the only seemingly trying to knock off heirs...Then there are those who suspect they are the least of the heirs. They want to steal and hide the body so they can get a greater share. Sweet Carol Dunlap (Jean Parker) is suspected of getting the largest share. Lyle Talbot, who starred in so many Ed Wood films is in this one as well as Dorothy Granger from "Death Valley Days."

The sound track at times indicates this is a "horror" film while at other times a comedy. It is far from a horror movie. At one point when someone is killed, the suspects are all gathered into one room, as a real who-dun-it murder mystery, except with the comedy of Jack Haley leading the spoof.

This is an excellent film which has stood the test of time. The jokes are a bit punny. It is not a blockbuster, but one that certainly can be enjoyed and appreciate by a younger generation. My only negative on this film is that the copy I saw could have used some restoration, especially the sound track.
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Relatives and loyal servants are gathered to hear the reading of Mr. Cyrus Wentworth'S last wishes. As the layer reads the wishes Cyrus snubs everyone there. Then the sort of tontine plot is delivered. Some will be rich others may get $1.50. It all hinges on whether the deceased gets his wish and is laid to rest above ground so he can see the stars. Or wither some unscrupulous person(s) will bury him under ground thus reversing the will.

Not trusting each other and wanting to get some sleep they hire a guard. Instead an insurance salesman Albert Tuttle (Jack Haley) apaches and is mistaken for the guard.

The fun begins.

All the standard clichés and scenarios are played out in the proper fashion. The only exceptional part is waiting to see who will drink the coffee and Bela Lugosi's facial expressions.

Devil Bat
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 June 2014
One Body Too Many (1944) is a comedy whodunnit.
Jack Haley plays a meek insurance salesman called Albert L. Tuttle. He decides to attempt to reverse his fortunes by selling eccentric millionaire Cyrus J. Rutherford an insurance policy worth $2200,000. He is too late! Rutherford has died and his palatial but creepy home is occupied by his wierd relations. His will stipulates that they must stay there until a vault is constructed on the roof; Rutherford was a keen observer of the stars and he wants a glass roof on his vault so that he can still be in view of them. The relatives decide that Tuttle is a private detective hired to guard Rutherford's body. The real detective does not show up and Tuttle is persuaded to stay and do the job himself. Rutherford has ensured that his wishes will be carried out by decreeing that, if his body is not buried in the vault, the heir receiving the largest amount will receive the smallest instead. This leads, among other complications, to a plot to hide the body. Poor Tuttle gets right into the middle of this plot, which involves Rutherford's niece Carol (nicely played by Jean Parker), secret passages, shenanigans with Rutherford's corpse and murder.
This is quite a good story. The family are amusingly manipulative and unscrupulous and their machinations make for entertaining viewing. It isn't a great classic, but it is worth a watching if you like old-fashioned black humour and escapism. Jack Haley was obviously thought very funny at that time; I found him ham and seriously unamusing, but then I suppose we are all more sophisticated now and tastes in humour have moved on. The film itself shows its age more than a bit and could do with remastering, with quite a few irritatingly dark scenes and a scratchy soundtrack.
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on 1 February 2013
For nostalgia buffs who, like me, saw the film, or something like it, in the 1940s or 1950s of interest. Still moderately entertaining but not one of the movie greats.
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Relatives and loyal servants are gathered to hear the reading of Mr. Cyrus Wentworth'S last wishes. As the layer reads the wishes Cyrus snubs everyone there. Then the sort of tontine plot is delivered. Some will be rich others may get $1.50. It all hinges on whether the deceased gets his wish and is laid to rest above ground so he can see the stars. Or wither some unscrupulous person(s) will bury him under ground thus reversing the will.

Not trusting each other and wanting to get some sleep they hire a guard. Instead an insurance salesman Albert Tuttle (Jack Haley) apaches and is mistaken for the guard.

The fun begins.

All the standard clichés and scenarios are played out in the proper fashion. The only exceptional part is waiting to see who will drink the coffee and Bela Lugosi's facial expressions.

Devil Bat
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 August 2014
It is true that One Body too Many is not one of the movie (comedy mystery) greats, but from my point of view it was definitely watchable and yes I did like this movie. I have only just got into comedy/mystery movies, by chance really. I have others that have better story-lines, but I am not disappointed that I purchased this movie.
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on 12 August 2014
This is the worst print of a film I have ever seen! The daylight scenes are not at all bad but as most of the film takes place at night there is a cloudy, murky picture on screen for most of the time in which it is impossible to make anything out. This is a great old country house murder film amd deserves remastering. The plot is good and JACK HALEY is perfectly cast. I suppose that the alternative is that these oldies just get binned and we never get to see them at all - murk and all. This was, for me, a fondly remembered film from many years ago so I could follow the plot, even though I couldn't see what was going on on screen for most of the time.. The portrait on the wall with the moving eyes and the secret panels are all visible in the lighted scenes, but when the "baddie" pulls the switch it all goes dark - in more ways than one.
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on 17 February 2013
I kinda like this movie and have watched it a few times.It has some funny and some spooky moments and if you like the old black and white creakers then this should be in your collection.
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You know this had some potential. There was some great character actors, including Bela Lugosi and Jack Haley (Tin Man). He mugs for the camera and plays the star struck cowardly insurance salesman. The sad thing is that they set up all these relatively interesting characters and then don't know what to do with them. The pacing is terrible. There are actually pauses in the film where nothing at all happens. I don't mean action I mean nothing at all. At times there is a fade to black and we sounds and voices then nothing. A few close ups would have helped. Sometimes in the drear of the black and white, it takes a few seconds to realize who is in the scene, especially during the frantic running around that place takes in the second half.

There is also silliness of the conditions of the will which is to give the opposite share to everyone if the deceased were buried in the ground. Since we don't know what the specifics of the will are, it makes it hard to figure out who the potential murderer is. When Bela Lugosi is on screen, I can't take my eyes off him.

I love these old movies and relish the atmosphere. Maybe a better print and better sound would have helped.

This was in the 50 horror classics box set I bought but I think there is to much comedy than horror in this film to recommend it to hardcore horror fans.

Thank you for reading my review.
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on 19 November 2015
Husband was disappointerd, it was not as he remembered seeing it when he was young
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