Starring Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Vera-Ellen, S.Z Sakall, Natalie Schafer
Goofy. Wearing. Over-the-top.
It takes a certain type of bravery to make yourself the butt of the joke; to play the clown. Danny Kaye made a living out of it. In Wonder Man, he plays estranged twins, Buzzy and Edwin. Buzzy is a loud, confident entertainer at a nightclub. Edwin is a bookish, awkward historian. After Buzzy gets knocked off by gangsters to keep him from giving testimony, he comes back as a ghost, haunting his brother into taking his place on the witness stand. This causes all manners of mix-ups, misunderstandings, and Wonder Man becomes an odd couple comedy, with Kaye playing both the clown and his own straight man. Kaye is seriously talented, mixing in brash musical numbers, dancing, and physical comedy, but the over the top idiocy is grating, and without a more involving story, there’s nothing to reign him in. Like most comedies, your enjoyment will hang solely on if you laugh or not, and I didn’t.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-