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A Southern Yankee


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Product Details

  • Actors: Red Skelton, Brian Donlevy, Arlene Dahl
  • Directors: Edward Sedgwick
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: July 12, 2012
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0089BSM0M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,188 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Red Skelton plays Aubrey Filmore, a feather-brained but lovable bellboy who dreams of becoming an agent for the Union's secret service during the Civil War. He gets his chance when he inadvertently causes the capture of a notorious Confederate spy known as "The Grey Spider" and adopts the spy's identity. The plot thickens when Aubrey meets the beautiful Confederate agent Sallyann Weatharby (Arlene Dahl) and falls in love with her. He is then forced to carry on the masquerade by posing as The Grey Spider and conveying false maps and instructions to deceive the Confederate forces when they plan their strategy at an upcoming battle.

Comic genius Buster Keaton was instrumental in creating numerous memorable gags in this endearing film and veteran director Edward Sedgwick came out of retirement to make the picture. For fans of classic comedy, A Southern Yankee is truly a piece of motion picture history.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
70%
4 star
15%
3 star
15%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 27 customer reviews
Always clean comedy.
Louis Locklear
Came in a timely manner and nothing was broken or jingling inside----which is always a good thing.
Snowman
He talked about it so much, I bought it for him.
Laura Potvin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 14, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This movie is the greatest! Red Skelton is at his funniest in this hilarious film about a northern bellboy who dreams of becoming a spy during the Civil War. He finally gets his chance when he accidentally falls in with a ring of southern spies who think he is the notorious spy, "The Grey Spider". His adventures while masquerading as the grey spider will have you laughing long after the movie has ended!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 19, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
The year is 1865 in St. Louis, and Red Skelton is Aubrey Filmore, a bellboy who is constantly daydreaming of becoming a spy; he stumbles and bumbles, and when by chance he catches the notorious Confederate spy known as The Gray Spider, he is then asked by the Union to impersonate the famous spy, who few know by sight, and to cross over to enemy territory. Red falls in love with Southern belle Arlene Dahl along the way, and is laugh-out-loud funny in his many escapades.

The legendary Buster Keaton had a lot of input (uncredited) in this film, and there are comedic "bits of business" that are pure genius and clearly show his touch. Red of course was one of America's finest mimes, with impeccable timing, and incredible pratfalls, and there are some one-liners that are pure gold.

Directed by Edward Sedgwick, it's a fast paced romp, and funny from start to finish, with some truly memorable scenes: Walking between the dividing line of the fighting armies by wearing half a uniform on each side and carrying both flags as one (all goes well until the wind turns), the tap dancing sequence with an extraordinary little boy, and saying "Mornin' Electra" to a dour faced woman are the moments I'll never forget....and then there's the dog house sequence...and the time he shoots all the guns he's collected on his sword...and...one could go on and on.

Others in the cast include Brian Donlevy as Arlene Dahl's other suitor, and John Ireland as Captain Jed Calbern, who tries to catch Red and expose him as a Union spy.

If you're a Red Skelton fan, you're going to like this film, and yearn for the days of old when comedy was a true art form, and was "good clean fun" that could be enjoyed by the whole family.

Total running time is 90 minutes.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Only-A-Child VINE VOICE on April 21, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
This fun 1948 comedy by Edward Sedgwick is like a cross between "Uncivil Warriors" (the 1935 Three Stooges short with the stooges playing Capt. Dodge, Lt. Duck, and Lt. Hyde) and "Advance to the Rear" (a 1964 comedy starring Glenn Ford and Stella Stevens). It is not quite as zany as the Stooge classic but has more physical comedy than Ford's film, including stunts designed by Buster Keaton.

Red Skelton plays Aubrey Filmore, a bumbling hotel bellboy in 1865 St. Louis, who spends most of his working hours tracking down imaginary spies among the guests. Aubrey's bumbling pays off one afternoon when he accidentally knocks out a guest who turns out to be a legendary spy Confederate spy called the "grey spider". His good fortune continues when a southern belle, Sallyann Weatherby (Arlene Dahl) mistakes him for the spider. Wanting to exploit these events, the Union secret service gives him phony plans to pass along to the enemy and instructions to pass along to another union agent behind enemy lines. Predictably Aubrey gets the two packets of information mixed up and places the union agent and himself in jeopardy.

"A Southern Yankee" is quite funny if not especially noteworthy, the cast is solid and the production design of good quality.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peggy on October 18, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The funniest bit of business was where Skelton was trying to get across a battlefield with North and South fighting one another. He made a flag that showed Yankee to the North side and Rebel to the South. Halfway across, the wind changed, the flag turned the opposite direction, and both sides started firing at him. Buster Keaton had suggested several bits of business for this film; he was a master at them. Arlene Dahl was a fine leading lady; she originated from Minnesota, by the way.
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Format: VHS Tape
Red is an inept yankee bellboy who dreams of being a spy. After bumbling his way into the capture of a confederate spy, the Grey
Spider, he finds himself put into the position of taking the Spider`s place, but as a spy for the yankees. Red`s cowardly character
finds that being a spy isn`t all it`s cracked up to be. And the results are wonderful classic comedy.
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By A. Pawlicki on May 29, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Skelton in top form. Solid supporting cast, with a veritable who's who of veteran character actors. Lots of great gags: the march though no-man's land with the paired Union and Confederate flags and paired uniforms is an inspired concept; the instruction memorization is an effective running gag - "the map's in the packet in the pocket of the jacket; the note's in the flap of the boot with the buckle." If this doesn't, make you laugh, your laugher is broken.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One of the best actors of his time. This movie is great for the Civil wars fans. Truly a comedy for everyone.
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By G. Hanlon on May 1, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It arrived on time, in good condition, and had been on my wishlist for a long time. One of my favorite Red Skelton movies.
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