Customer Reviews


27 Reviews
5 star:
 (17)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And on top there should be a cherry.............maraschino
Addendum 6/8/13: This new Blu-Ray reissue IS the preferred non-voiceover version, read on.

Where to start? First, there are two versions of this hysterical farce but one of the versions is severely hampered by Fred Allen's voice overs through many of the best comedy segments. The other, and I'm guessing, "original" version involves no voice overs and this...
Published on December 17, 2004 by Bob L

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars it's in the bag
DO NOT BE Fooled!!!! The original Fred Allen movie 'It's In the Bag', had Fred 'narrating' through the movie. This has been entirely cut out The worst cut is the Quartet of Rudy Vallee, Don Amache, Fred Allen & Victor Moore. It is only HALF there. The original had Fred narrating about "this group breaks windows..."

I have tried to get an original uncut but it...
Published on July 12, 2010 by Diane


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And on top there should be a cherry.............maraschino, December 17, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: It's in the Bag [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Addendum 6/8/13: This new Blu-Ray reissue IS the preferred non-voiceover version, read on.

Where to start? First, there are two versions of this hysterical farce but one of the versions is severely hampered by Fred Allen's voice overs through many of the best comedy segments. The other, and I'm guessing, "original" version involves no voice overs and this version is an unmitigated classic for which we can give a big thank you to producer Jack Skirball.

It's in the Bag is one of the screwiest comedies ever. It's the story of Fred F. Floogle(Fred Allen)an unsuccessful flea circus exhibitor and his madcap family; devoted and wholly unsatisfied wife Eve(Binnie Barnes), soon-to-be-bride daughter Marion(Gloria Pope) and genius son Homer(Richard Tyler)who is given many of the best lines though there are zillions of funny lines and millions of gags in this one-of-a-kind romp. Exterminator(Robert Benchley)is determined to not let his son Perry Parker(William Terry) marry into such an inferior family as Fred's, that is until Fred's millionaire uncle dies leaving his entire fortune to his long lost nephew, or so everyone thinks. Everyone thinks it enough to extend Fred and his family whatever they wish and they're wishing the moon. But when Fred and Eve meet with his uncle's former business partners(headed up by John Carradine in a rare, intentionally comedic role)they find that there's "no money", only a set of chairs.(This is where Mel Brook's "Twelve Chairs" may have found it's basis or vice versa if the period piece is actually from that period.)Of course Fred sells the chairs only to later dicover there's a fortune and the name of his uncle's murderer hidden in one them and now they must be retrieved. Along the way we run into Don Ameche, Jack Benny, Rudy Vallee, William Bendix, Jerry Colonna, Sidney Toler and Victor Moore to name some of the bigger names but there are what seems to be hundreds of well known faces of comedic character actors in tons of riotous bits. This movie is a real hoot. If you're old enough to understand that phrase, then this movie might be for you.

As I've said in past reviews, the fact that this and Champagne for Caesar, Ball of Fire, The Male Animal, The Senator Was Indiscreet, Cold Turkey, The Loved One, A Slight Case of Murder and Larceny Inc. plus many, many more have not been restored and tranfered to DVD format IS A CRIME.

Oh, that's Joe.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Radio's better Movies, May 17, 2000
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: It's in the Bag [VHS] (VHS Tape)
There have been numerous attempts at fashioning movie vehicles for radio stars:most of them failed to work,or work consistently well,but It's In The Bag is something of an exception.Starring Fred Allen-who had a great face for radio-and featuring cameos from Jack Benny,Robert Benchley,Don Ameche,Rudy Valee,and William Bendix,this is a simple,plot-driven movie packed full with in-jokes and tried-and-tested routines.Mel Brooks would return to the source material - a Russian short story - for the 1970 movie The Twelve Chairs,but the pretentiousness of that version is missing here.If you like Benny(who is on fine form) and Allen(who is at his most appealing,or least unappealing,depending on your perspective)then It's In The Bag is well worth a look.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's in FRED's Bags!, June 3, 2001
By 
This review is from: It's in the Bag [VHS] (VHS Tape)
It's a shame that only a chosen few REALLY KNOW who Fred Allen is. In the 1940's his popularity was that of names we still cite today - Jack Benny, Abbott & Costello, etc.
But in his day Fred's radio program was incredibly popular, as well as his "fued" with Jack Benny. If you love old radio, or old time comedy you will enjoy IT'S IN THE BAG. Fred Allen was, as still is, one of the smartest writers of comedy there was - even today great legends such as Mel Brooks and George Carlin cite his influence.
One drawback with the film is that to get all the jokes you will need to be familiar with "the age" when the film was released since some of Fred's jokes are dated (commentary about crowded theaters comes to mind), but some of the jokes are just as fresh today as they were 56 years ago (commentary on how relatives get in the picture, why do we need to watch credits, psychoanalists, etc.)
In some ways it's a very "da-da-ist" film -as in the vein of W.C. Fields' INTERNATIONAL HOUSE. You can read the film synopsis above so I won't waste time with that - I'll just say, see it for an enjoyable, smart comedy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "ahhh, if it isn't Mrs. Nussbaum...", January 2, 2004
This review is from: It's in the Bag [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is a funny movie, though under-rated. This and what I call the companion movie to a film called "It's a Joke, Son!" starring Kenny Delmar as 'Senator Claghorne' are must-have films for Fred Allen fans (even though Fred isn't in the second film with Delmar, it's based on a character from Fred's program.) On this "It's in the Bag" film, the one and only Fred Allen stars as Fred Floogle, a flea circus showman. The film is about a guy who has a wealthy relative who passes away. Fred follows human nature and starts buying expensive things and puts money on stocks. Fred thinks he's inherited his uncle's $12 million fortune but he doesn't get so much.

Angry, Fred has his son sell the chairs. It's only later that a vinyl record surfaces with Fred's uncle instructing him to claim the $300,000 he hid in one of the chairs! Too late...they've been sold to countless people all across town. This causes Fred to go on a wild goose chase tracking down the 12 chairs. This is where the film starts to pick up speed.

An array of '40s radio stars make cameo appearances: Rudy Vallee, Don Ameche, William Bendix, and the immortal Jack Benny. Bendix spoofs his "tough-guy" build by being a cowardly leader of a gang of muggers. Ameche and Vallee hit the stage in a night-club but the bass singer is missing. Fred joins them on stage as an imposter who sings a terrible bass section {by this time in the film he's running from the police because they think Fred is working for the Bendix Gang!}.

Along the way Fred encounters Mrs. Nussbaum (Minerva Pious, the same woman who played that character on Fred's radio programs) in an eerie segment that allows the viewer to see what "Allen's Alley" would've looked like had Fred went into TV full time. Jack Benny's scene is the stand-out of course. Cheap jokes are here...Fred acts like he's the president of a Jack Benny Fan Club and needs an item for display. Fred, of course, wants the chair that Nussbaum sold Jack. An assortment of sight-gags follow (including a cash register inside his living room and wax paper to wrap the chair in!). Concurrently Fred's being chased by a detective trying to prove that Fred is in ca-hoots with the Bendix gang.

Walter Tetley has a memorable role as an elevator operator. The "immediate seating" gag is hilarious as well. Jerry Colonna, the wide mustache maniac side-kick of Bob Hope, has a zany appearance as a psychiatrist who slaps himself across the face numerous time thinking a tsetse fly is swarming his face! Victor Moore plays the campy Chef and others making cameos are John Carradine, Robert Benchley, and Binnie Barnes. Fred finally tracks down the chair with the money but reality sets in...and you'll never believe what happens next!!

Fred Allen was a radio comedian from 1932-1949. He's famous for his topical humor, battles over censorship, battles with network executives, the "Allen's Alley" routine that ran from 1945-1949, and his fictional feud with Jack Benny. Due to Allen's inability to make it on TV with a major hit, the TV generation doesn't know him at all. In 1954 Allen headed to the fourth chair on the panel of "What's My Line?". Fred died in 1956 of a heart attack amidst his popular run as a panelist on "What's My Line?"...a TV show of all things!! "It's In The Bag" might well be the greatest thing to showcase Fred, visually, aside from his "What's My Line?" years.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars it's in the bag, July 12, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: It's in the Bag (DVD)
DO NOT BE Fooled!!!! The original Fred Allen movie 'It's In the Bag', had Fred 'narrating' through the movie. This has been entirely cut out The worst cut is the Quartet of Rudy Vallee, Don Amache, Fred Allen & Victor Moore. It is only HALF there. The original had Fred narrating about "this group breaks windows..."

I have tried to get an original uncut but it is apparently no longer available.

DO NOT THINK YOU ARE GETTING THE ORIGINAL MOVIE...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fleas and the ingenious mouse trap., August 20, 2011
This review is from: It's in the Bag (DVD)
Fred F. Trumble Floogle is the owner of a less than successful flea-circus. Struggling to pay his gambling debts, Trumble is most delighted when it's announced he has inherited a substantial amount of money from a recently slain relative. Jumping straight into the rich mans life style with his family, it's a shock when the dubious suit brigade tell him that all the inheritance money has been dissipated, thus sending the Trumble's into even worse poverty than before. But salvation comes in the form of a phonograph record, which on its reverse side has a message from the grave. It seems that $300,000 is hidden in one of the five chairs that Trumble got from the initial will reading. Trouble is is that his son has just gone and sold the chairs to a dealer, who in turn has sold them on to various people.

I'm not at all familiar with the works of radio star Fred Allen {Fred Trumble}, so going into this film blind as to his style of comedy was a bit of a gamble. Happily I can report that It's In The Bag, and Allen himself were a comedic joy. Backed up by the likes of Jack Benny, William Bendix, John Carradine, Rudy Vallee, Don Ameche and Victor Moore-Allen and the ensemble deliver quick wit and skits to laugh yourself hoarse with. There are some far better reviews of this film available on this site, ie: those more familiar with Allen and his influences, so I would urge interested parties to seek them out. For myself I just loved what I watched, skits around trying to get cinema seats and one involving William Bendix playing against type are excellent, whilst I barely contained my joy during a sequence as Don Ameche recites poetry during a riot. Full of gags both visual and oral, It's In The Bag comes highly recommended to those that enjoy old time comedy with a sharp and prickly edge to it. 8/10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars IF YOU ENJOY ALLEN AND BENNY, STICK TO THE RADIO BROADCASTS, September 30, 2013
By 
RANDEL (BOYNTON BEACH, FL) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: It's in the Bag (DVD)
Having enjoyed listening to Jack Benny and Fred Allen's old radio shows for years, I really looked forward to seeing them on film. Unfortunately, apart from a few protracted (and labored) vaudeville-styled visual routines, this is essentially a series of filmed radio dialogues. If you've never seen Fred Allen, this purchase might be worth the money; but I'd suggest buying a collection of Jack Benny's old TV shows and watching Benny and Allen re-enacting some of their classic radio routines. This film was a great disappointment.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That guy wouldn't give you the parsley off his fish!...., March 22, 2007
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: It's in the Bag [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Fred Allen makes me laugh. He may not have that effect on some folks, but the bassett-faced, baggy-eyed, acerbic & brilliant radio writer/performer with the ironic and cynical deadpan delivery has always tickled me. Alas, he's virtually unknown but to a few today, and as his main medium was radio with doubtless few if any shows extant we only have glimpses of him in a few films and his writings. Allen was a true humorist, finding the absurdity in himself and his culture, and while his humor could be stingingly sharp, it wasn't mean-spirited. A lost art, in many ways.

I can only recall him in "The Ransom of Red Chief" episode in "O'Henry's Full House" and with Ginger Rogers as the radio couple episode in "We're Not Married" for other appearances on film. At any rate, we have "It's In the Bag" which is a riff on the old Russian tale of "The Twelve Chairs", and is really only an excuse for a series of sketches with Fred tangling with some of his radio characters and guest appearances/cameos by Jack Benny, Jerry Connola, Robert Benchley, John Carradine, Don Ameche, Rudy Vallee, Victor Moore and Bill Bendix et al.

And it is in these encounters we get the dry wit and delivery of Allen as his erstwhile Flea Circus owner Fred Floogle is beset and bedeviled by crackpot inventors, quack psychiatrists, crooked lawyers, surly theatre ushers and managers, and other contemporary woes of the times. The best bit by far is with his great friend and the other half of his celebrated radio "feud", Jack Benny. The banter between these two old pros is worth the price of admission: light, fast and wry. Allen never spared himself in his gags, and the over-all experience is one of great good humor.

Definitely a piece of work for probably only a small few, but considering that other than his writings this is about all we'll ever have of Fred Allen, it is to be treasured. Any man who could write:

"All the sincerity in Hollywood you can stuff into a flea's navel and still have room left over to conceal eight caraway seeds and an agent's heart."

must be treasured. One can only hope for a DVD some day.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem From the Days of Network Radio, June 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had an old VHS tape of this film and played it to death. Knowing something about network radio back in the 1940's I really enjoyed seeing Fred Allen and Jack Benny play off one another. This film also has Robert Benchley, Jerry Colona, Don Ameche, Victor Moore, William Bendix, John Carradine, and Binnie Barnes as added attractions.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Fun, June 25, 2013
By 
N.H. Old Guy (Concord, NH USA) - See all my reviews
Series of comic sketches successfully wrapped into a simple narrative about fraud and an inheritance. But you'll really want to see the all star cast playing comedy, and playing it well. Fred Allen, Robert Benchley, Jack Benny, Jerry Colonna, Don Ameche, Rudy Vallee, more than I can remember. Allen narrates, and both his narration and his character show him at his sharp, sarcastic best.

You don't need to know the actors to enjoy the performances and top notch writing of this movie. It moves too fast for kids, though.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

It's in the Bag
It's in the Bag by Richard Wallace (DVD - 2013)
$24.95 $16.39
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.