On the Double (film)
|On the Double|
1961 movie poster
|Directed by||Melville Shavelson|
|Produced by||Jack Rose|
|Written by||Melville Shavelson
|Music by||Leith Stevens|
|Edited by||Frank Bracht|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
On The Double is a 1961 film, directed by Melville Shavelson, who also wrote the screenplay with Jack Rose. It stars Danny Kaye who plays, as in many of his films, two roles — in this case, an American soldier and a British General.
In 1944, Ernie Williams (Danny Kaye), a most reluctant American soldier is trapped in an Allied army camp in southeast England, with his leave of absence revoked. A hypochondriac and a coward, Ernie is also a superb mimic. He is persuaded to impersonate the commander, General Sir Lawrence MacKenzie Smith, to go AWOL, but does not get further than the gate. Under the threat of court-martial, Colonel Somerset (Wilfrid Hyde-White) of military intelligence recruits Ernie as the General's political decoy, in order to thwart a plot to assassinate the General. The situation turns for the worse when the enemy inadvertently shoots down a plane carrying the real General, killing him.
Ernie is unable to fool the General's wife, Lady Margaret (Dana Wynter), but he is able to deceive the officers at a regimental party. On her advice, and to further the deceit, he appears to get drunk and have a fight with his wife. His hard-drinking Scottish aunt, Lady Vivian (Margaret Rutherford) is highly suspicious, but is too drunk to take it further.
That night, Ernie is kidnapped and taken to Berlin by German agents, who turn out to be Sergeant Stanhope (Diana Dors), one of the General's mistresses, and Captain Patterson (Allan Cuthbertson). Ernie manages to confuse the German interrogators, who want information about Normandy landings and would rather accept arrant nonsense about non-existent operations and places instead of the truth that he is a decoy. In the resultant confusion, he manages to escape and is chased through the streets of Berlin at night. He takes on several comic disguises to throw off his pursuers and hides in a nightclub, but is forced to perform a cabaret act as Fraulein Lilli (copied from Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel). Finally, disguised as a pilot, he boards a German bomber and manages to parachute out over England. Captured, and about to be shot as a spy, he is rescued at the last moment by Somerset.
Ernie and Margaret profess their love for each other.
- Danny Kaye as Private First Class Ernie Williams / General Sir Lawrence MacKenzie-Smith
- Dana Wynter as Lady Margaret MacKenzie-Smith
- Wilfrid Hyde-White as Colonel Somerset
- Margaret Rutherford as Lady Vivian
- Diana Dors as Sergeant Bridget Stanhope
- Allan Cuthbertson as Captain Patterson
- Jesse White as Corporal Joseph Praeger
- Gregory Walcott as Colonel Rock Houston
- Terence De Marney as Sergeant Colin Twickenham
- Rex Evans as General Carleton Brown Wiffingham
- Rudolph Anders as Oberkommandant
- Edgar Barrier as Blankmeister
- Ben Astar as General Zlinkov