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Crazy House

Crazy House(1943)

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Vaudevillians Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson stage a parade down Hollywood and Vine to announce their return to Hollywood after three years on Broadway in Sons of Fun . At their studio, Universal, hysteria breaks out at the mere thought of their return. In spite of the studio's tight security, Ole and Chic manage to get onto the lot and into the offices of executive producer N. G. Wagstaff. Although they have a two-picture deal with Universal, Wagstaff informs Ole and Chic that the studio will not make their second picture, as most of the staff, who dread the vaudevillians's antics, has threatened to quit if they return to the lot. As they are leaving the studio, the duo run into Edmund "Mac" MacLean, an assistant director on their first film, who tells them that he, too, has been fired by the studio. Ole and Chic then decide to make their next picture independently, with Mac as the director, by stealing stars off the Universal lot and using financing from an as-yet-found "angel." They mistakenly think they have signed Cass Daley to star in their film, but instead have signed her double, Sadie Silverfish. The new filmmakers then go to the Studio Rental Corp. for film and equipment, and the owners agree to rent them everything they want, in the hopes of fleecing them. Later, at the Ambassador Hotel, Ole and Chic meet Colonel Cornelius Merriweather, who claims to be a multi-millionaire and offers to finance completely their picture, but who is actually a penniless kook. Ole and Chic then decide to cast the film with unknown performers, instead of expensive stars. They discover a waitress named Margie Nelson and decide to cast her in the female lead, but when they have her perform on a radio show, the show's star, Johnny, offers her a radio contract. With a $750,000 promissory note from Merriweather, however, they are able to sign Margie, as well as singers, dancers and a band. As filming begins, Sadie shows up on the set with her lawyer, who insists that the stand-in has a valid contract and must be used in the film. The filmmakers then decide to torture Sadie with inhuman rehearsals until she quits. Their plan succeeds, but when the real Cass Daley arrives on the set in support of her cousin, they mistakenly torture the star. In the midst of filming, Hanley and the other owners of Studio Rental come to Ole and Chic, demanding their money, at which time the two vaudevillians discover the truth about Merriweather. Hanley, however, allows them to finish the film, as he plans to assume ownership on the picture upon its completion. After fifty-four days of shooting, the film is completed, and Hanley arrives with his lawyers and legally attaches the film. The filmmakers are then forced to go to court, where Ole, Chic and Mac argue that they can sell the film for $1,000,000. The judge agrees to give them one week in which to come up with Hanley's money, so the three plan a special preview of the film for various studio executives. On the night of the preview, however, only the first reel arrives, as the film has been held up in processing by Hanley. Ole, Chic and the other performers then put on an old-fashioned vaudeville show, while Mac acquires the remainder of the film. After the movie is over, Ole and Chic trick Wagstaff into buying the film, and Hanley and his partners are defeated. When Mac and Margie attempt to reconcile, Chic opens fire with a machine gun, stating that this is "one movie without a happy ending."