Wonder Man (WM)! If you thought Danny was hilarious on his own, wait’ll you see him in the dual roles of famous nightclub star Buzzy Bellew and his brother Edwin Dingle! As the Doublemint gum commercials, say, it’s double your pleasure, double your fun!
Directed by H. Bruce Humberstone (I Wake up Screaming, Sun Valley Serenade; several Charlie Chan films, among others), WM’s screenwriters included Up in Arms’ Don Hartman; Melville Shavelson from Kaye’s 1946 boxing romp The Kid From Brooklyn; Philip Rapp, creator of Fanny Brice’s Baby Snooks; Arthur Sheekman, gag writer for The Marx Brothers; and Jack Jevne, Eric Hatch, and Eddie Moran from Topper and Way Out West. If these fellas didn’t know their comic ghosts, I don’t know who would! They say that too many cooks spoil the broth, but in this case, WM turned out to be a musical-comedy smorgasboard and a hip, hilarious, tuneful romp indeed!
From Borscht Belt tummler to Broadway star to multitalented movie star, Danny’s secret weapon was Sylvia Fine, Danny’s brilliantly talented lyricist, composer, manager, and his wife from 1940 until Danny’s death in 1987. Sylvia was truly the woman behind the man. With her brilliant lyrics and wordplay, and Danny’s unbeatable talent and energy, they were an amazing power couple!
|Sylvia & Danny: |
They're so fine!
We viewers first meet Buzzy Bellew (Kaye) as the star attraction at New York City’s posh Pelican Club (what the world needs now are more affordable swanky nightclubs! But I digress….). The brash and brassy Buzzy is as likable as he is zany and hyper, likable, bursting with energy. To borrow a line from Steve Martin back in his stand-up comedy days, Buzzy is a wild and crazy guy (in the most entertaining ways, of course)!
|Enough bad news! Where's the sports page?|
|*POP* goes the marriage proposal! |
Buzzy and Midge are betrothed at last!
People can’t help loving Buzzy—except for notorious mobster, counterfeiter, and killer Ten-Grand Jackson (Steve Cochran, also making his film debut here)! See, DA O’Brien (Otto Kruger of Murder, My Sweet; Saboteur; High Noon) and the Assistant DA (Richard Lane, best known to Boston Blackie fans as Inspector Farraday) needs Buzzy to testify in the murder trial, one of whose victims include one Choo-Choo Laverne, a fan dancer who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Our antic, overly optimistic entertainer is too overconfident to let New York’s Finest provide him with police protection—not a smart move for a high-profile witness in a murder case, especially when Ten-Grand has just been released on bail!
|What's this? Inspector Farraday in league with Jules Amthor?!|
|Onstage, Buzzy and Midge are on a Bali high!|
|I love a man who can cook and wear an apron with confidence!|
|"You can lose your mind/|
When brothers are two of a kind!"
|Exasperated S.Z. Sakall is his usual "Cuddles"-some self! |
|Dead or alive, Buzzy sure knows how to make an entrance! Hiya, Bro!|
|Sailor Huntz Hall & pals are gobsmacked at Edwin's supernatural powers, courtesy of Buzzy!|
|All right, opera singer dame, give someone else a turn!|
|Aw, don't you just love a happy ending?|