Behind the Eight Ball


60m 1942

Film Details

Also Known As
Off the Beaten Track
Release Date
Dec 4, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
60m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,411ft

Synopsis

The crowd attending the second night of the new musical revue Fun for All at the Green Barn Playhouse arrives in great anticipation, as on opening night, the guest star of the show, Jack Daily, was murdered. The new guest star, Wally Raymond, is also shot dead during his first performance. McKenzie, the chief of police, orders that a third show be performed the following Saturday, featuring another guest act, in order to set a trap for the killer. Joan Barry, the producer and star of the show, and Bill Edwards, her boyfriend, however, tell McKenzie that no other act would dare appear in the show. Their contention is confirmed by New York theatrical agent Harry B. Kemp, who nonetheless sends the three to the "Club Royale" nightclub, where the amateur vaudeville trio, The Jolly Jesters, sneak on stage and perform their act. After being thrown out of the nightclub, the trio is approached by Kemp and, unaware of the danger involved, agrees to perform in the revue. Later, upon learning the truth, the three brothers attempt to run away, but they are caught by McKenzie and returned to the theater. Joan tells them they are free to go, but when they learn that the show may be headed for Broadway, the brothers agree to stay. That night, the three overhear some men discussing plans to set an explosion, in an attempt to drive everyone off the farm where the theater is located. After the explosion, the brothers tell Bill, who co-owns the farm with Joan, what they overheard, and he and the trio search the barn and theater for clues. In the middle of the show, McKenzie stops the performance and announces that Bill is the killer. The police chief then states that the explosion was caused by chemicals found in Bill's laboratory, and declares the case solved. Later, Bill, along with the three brothers, discovers a secret passageway backstage, which hides a shortwave radio. Back on stage, the brothers do their impression of Ted Lewis, using the clarinet of band member Clay Martin, which, unknown to the boys, has a gun hidden in it. Clay, afraid of being shot himself, confesses to the murders, and with the case finally solved, the show finally completes a performance and is a big success.

Film Details

Also Known As
Off the Beaten Track
Release Date
Dec 4, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
60m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,411ft

Quotes

Imagine them calling the show "Fun for All".
- Jolly Jester
I'm glad we got out of there before they called it "Three Men in a Hearse".
- Jolly Jester

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Off the Beaten Track. A Hollywood Reporter news item includes Alan Bridges in the cast, but he was not seen in the viewed print. Hollywood Reporter news items also state that John Mattison was assigned to the film as dance director, but Eddie Prinz was credited in that position by the onscreen credits and contemporary reviews.