Alias the Deacon (1940)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Run Time - 74 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Radio humorist Bob Burns plays the title role in Alias the Deacon. Based on a stage play by John B. Hymer and LeRoy Clements (previously filmed in 1927 with Jean Hersholt), the story concerns a philosophical drifter named Deke Caswell (Burns) who is mistaken for the new deacon of a small town. A gambler by nature, Caswell decides to continue the clerical pose so that he can divest the locals of their hard-earned dollars. Instead, he turns honest, eventually solving all of the town's problems. A subplot concerns the "scandalous" (but wholly innocent) relationship between truck driver Johnny Sloan (Dennis O'Keefe) and hitchhiker Phyllis (Peggy Moran). This being a Universal film of the early 1940s, it was all but mandatory for Mischa Auer to show up in an incongrous but amusing supporting role.

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Keywords

religion, barber, con/scam, fighter, hitchhiker, love, motel, poker, romance, town