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Case Number 22837: Small Claims Court

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Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title

MGM // 1966 // 84 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge P.S. Colbert // December 1st, 2011

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All Rise...

Judge P.S. Colbert will never look down his nose at Herman Glimscher again!

The Charge

Why bother inventing a snappy tag line for a movie without a name?

The Case

Charlie Yuckapuck (Morey Amsterdam, The Dick Van Dyke Show) tends griddle at the Daredevil Diner, where Annie (Rose Marie, The Dick Van Dyke Show) waits tables and both try (unsuccessfully) to keep from running afoul of Mr. Travis, (Richard Deacon, The Dick Van Dyke Show) the greasy spoon's long-suffering, short-tempered owner.

Coincidentally, the day that fellow waitress Magda (January Jones, not of Mad Men) learns that she's inherited her recently departed uncle's bookshop on the campus of Updike University, is the very same day that Travis decides he's sat upon his last fully-frosted layer cake, and sends his entire staff of three packing.

Turns out the trio is every bit as inept at running a bookstore, but no matter, as it develops that Charlie just happens to be a dead-ringer for Klavashian cosmonaut Jascha Nudnik, whose spaceship returned to earth four weeks prior without him, bearing only a note that reads: "Defecting to the United States, thanks for the ride!"

Rumor has it that Nudnik will make a surprise appearance at the big science and space convention to be held a couple days hence at the very same Updike University.

"If that missing cosmonaut is anywhere around this college, this place will be crawling with secret agents," worries Annie.

"Ah, you've been seeing too many James Bond movies," reassures Charlie.

As Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music once said, "You can guess the rest."

Oy, vey! Where do I begin?

Let's start with the writing credits: Screenplay by John Hart and Morey Amsterdam. Adaptation by George W. Schenck and William Marks.

Adaptation? Of what?

Was the screenplay originally conceived as an Operetta? Was it translated from a provincial Romanian dialect? Screenwriter Morey Amsterdam (who also produced and starred here) was born in Chicago, for Crissakes, and his collaborator John Hart specialized in supplying English dialogue for Italian films, ala Kill, Baby, Kill and The Fury Of Hercules!

A sample of the "comedic banter" that runs throughout:

Annie: "Hi Charlie, how'd you sleep last night?"
Charlie: "No good. I was up all night trying to get the window open."
Annie: "But there's no window in that room."
Charlie: "No wonder I couldn't get it open!" (Annie looks heavenward, rolls eyes. Scene continues.)

There are mucho old-school celebrity cameos, but none that amount to much more than "Hey, that's Danny Thomas! Hey, there's Carl Reiner!" or "Look, it's Milton Berle! Moe Howard of the Three Stooges—-Wait a minute, Isn't he dead?" etc.

Are any of these appearances even remotely funny? No, I'm afraid not.

MGM's 1.66:1 widescreen transfer opens with a warning that "This film has been manufactured using the best source material available," but since there were no visual or audio glitches to speak of, perhaps the studio was apologizing in advance for giving this film to us straight?

Additionally. Don't Worry, We'll Think Of A Title comes to us courtesy of MGM's "Limited Edition Collection," which means that "This disc is expected to play back in DVD Video "play only" devices, and may not play in other DVD devices, including recorders and PC drives."

This set features no extras, perhaps because the wise folks behind MGM's Limited Edition Collection thought that would be adding insult to injury.

The Verdict

The makers and distributors obviously didn't give a Yuckapuck about this film, so why should you?

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 51

Perp Profile

Studio: MGM
Video Formats:
• 1.66:1 Non-Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 84 Minutes
Release Year: 1966
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Classic
• Comedy

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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