The Inspector General (1949)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Comedy of Errors, Satire, Musical Comedy  |   Release Date - Dec 30, 1949 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Richard Gilliam

Although the cynical Nikolai Gogol stage play on which it is based would seem an unlikely vehicle for a musical comedy, The Inspector General is one of Danny Kaye's best and most energetic films. The production is held together by the steady work of veteran director Henry Koster, who was probably happy to be working on a Warner Bros.-sized budget rather than at his usual cash-strapped Universal. In his lesser work, Kaye often veered his buffoon act into self-parody. Here, he benefits from Koster's control, from the solid supporting work of such character actors as Walter Catlett and Walter Slezak, and from the songs of Johnny Mercer. Russian literature purists will likely object to the liberties taken with the source story, but fans of Kaye won't notice.