Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Overlooked Movies: You Never Can Tell

The other day I ran a post on the best ghosts in movies, and Art Scott mentioned You Never Can Tell, which is a movie I love.  So I thought I'd rerun this (slightly revised) review from 2011 today in case you missed it back then.  Art also e-mailed to tell me that there is now a DVD available on Amazon, but with this statement attached: "When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply."  

There's no trailer or clip available on YouTube for the movie.

This is another one I saw when I was ten years old and thought was purely wonderful. Obviously my taste for fantasy was already well developed.

King, a German shepherd, is heir to a fortune, and Ellen (Peggy Dow) administers his inheritance. Then King is murdered (poison). Ellen is judged to be responsible.

That's when things get fantastic. The scene is Beastatory, an animal heaven, where King asks an animal jury to allow him to return to earth, investigate the crime, and expose the real killer. He gets what he asks for, and he's reincarnated as Rex Shepard, private-eye (Dick Powell). Rex is accompanied by Goldie (Joyce Holden), formerly a palomino and now Rex's secretary. If you think Rex solves the mystery, you're right, but that's all I have to say. The rest you should discover for yourself, assuming you buy a copy or catch it on TV.

Well, I can't resist a remark about the costuming. It's just great, particularly Goldie's hat and shoes. 

One more thing. That last scene. Gets me every time, even thinking about it.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here's a clip of "You Never Can Tell" that I found on YouTube. It's a plug from the website, Lovingtheclassics.com, to buy their DVD of the film. Still, it's better than nothing...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEVDnBW5xH0

Bill Crider said...

Thanks for the clip!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Have never seen it although the title is so familiar.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I saw it as a kid and loved it too! It's been years but there are still parts I remember. Of course, the whole dog as man thing was guaranteed to appeal to my sense of humor then and I bet I'd still like it now.

But I'd still take THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES first.

Max Allan Collins said...

A favorite of mine -- Powell self-spoofing his PI persona and showing off his comedic chops...what's not to love? Peggy Dow is, I believe, Wally Cleaver's sister.

Bill Crider said...

Great trivia about Peggy Dow. It never occurred to me.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Because it isn't true.

Dow was born in Hollywood, California, to John Stevens, a designer and general contractor, and Muriel Virginia Dow (née Montrose) (May 27, 1906–April 30, 2001),

Peggy V. Helmerich (born March 18, 1928, Columbia, Mississippi), born Peggy Josephine Varnadow and known professionally as Peggy Dow, [1]is an American philanthropist and retired actress.

Bill Crider said...

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Tom Johnson said...

I saw it many years ago as a kid, then when it was played again on either TNT or AMC about ten years ago I taped on VHS, and still have it. The horse is my favorite, but I'll never forget Powell eating dog biscuits in the movie! I loved it.

Don Coffin said...

Patty Abbott...you might be thinking of the song by Chuck Berry:
https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=chuck+berry+never+can+tell

Max Allan Collins said...

Well, at least I hedged. The (non-existent) Dow connection is something I heard years ago.

Here is an actual Wally Cleaver fact: he had (maybe has) relatives in Muscatine, Iowa (where I still live) and would visit occasionally in the '50s and '60s. I never met him but there were many sightings reported by my friends.