Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Danny Kaye plays the first of his cinematic dual roles in Goldwyn's Wonder Man. Kaye appears as timid librarian Edwin Dingle and Edwin's extroverted twin brother, nightclub entertainer Buzzy Bellew. When Buzzy witnesses a gangland shooting, he himself is rubbed out by mob boss Ten-Grand Jackson (Steve Cochran, in his movie debut). Before long, Edwin is visited by Buzzy's ghost, who persuades his bookish brother to help bring Jackson to justice. For the rest of the film, poor Edwin is possessed by his brother's sportive spirit, causing no end of confusion for Edwin's demure lady friend Ellen Shanley (Virginia Mayo) and Buzzy's more outgoing girlfriend, dancer Midge Mallon (Vera-Ellen, also making her first film appearance). Done up in splashy Technicolor, Wonder Man is perhaps Kaye's best Goldwyn-produced vehicle, permitting him to play a character (or characters) rather than a caricature. Highlights include an opera spoof (a variation of which showed up in Kaye's 1954 feature Knock on Wood), Danny's allergic rendition of "Otchi Chornya," and a wonderful vignette wherein Kaye imitates all the "inhabitants" of a pet shop.
death, gangster, ghost, investigator, library, nightclub, possession, revenge, sibling, twins, witness