Starring Adolph Menjou, Pola Negri, Billie Burke, Martha Scott, Dennis O’Keefe, June Havoc
Inventive. Madcap. Enjoyable.
Senator Simpson [Looking at hat check girl]: You know, I’ve seen that girl somewhere before.
Liza Prescott: She’s a very particular friend of the director who’s making this picture. He sticks her in every scene he can.
It’s kind of wild seeing a movie from the 1940s break the fourth wall as frequently and as cleverly as Hi Diddle Diddle does throughout its brisk runtime. Meta humor, so-called, seems like a modern invention but watching Bob Hope and Bing Crosby’s Road To…movies and now this has taught me otherwise. Adolph Menjou stars as Hector, a loving but crooked father whose son, Sonny, is getting married to a nice, respectable girl, Janie (Scott), from a seemingly affluent family. Finding, however, that the girl and her family have suddenly been thrust into dire straights, Hector is asked to use his old tricks to make things right. There’s a lot that goes on in this picture including animated shorts, musical numbers, and plenty of witty dialogue. It’s all done to amusing if rather slight success.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-