Knock on Wood

Synopsis: Ventriloquist Jerry Morgan has to see another love affair fail. The reason: when the relationship reaches the point when it is time to discuss marriage, his doll Clarence becomes mean and jealous. His fiancée Audrey leaves him and Jerry smashes his two dolls, Clarence and Terrence. Morgan's doll maker Papinek is a member of a spy ring who has stolen secret plans to the top secret Lafayette airplane. Since Morgan is leaving for Zurich the same night, Papinek decides to use Morgan's dolls as a mailbox and hides the secret plans in the heads of the dolls. Another secret spy ring also wants to get their hands on Jerry's luggage and they *also* follow him. Eventually, Jerry is chased by both these organizations as well as the police, who suspects him of murder.
Genre: Comedy
Production: Paramount Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations.
103 min

This is Paris, on

a peaceful day in June.

Paris, tranquil, serene,

unaware that in a few short hours,

she would be a victim of a plot that will

shake the security of the free world.

This is 26 Ru Di Orlan,

where top military advisers to the North

Atlantic Alliance, are in secret session

discussing two guarded blueprints.

Two blueprints which contain the intricate

design of top secret " Lafayette X.V.27 "

The most deadly weapon

yet devised by man.

Such a prize, would inevitably

attempt the most sinister,

the most ruthless of

international spy ring.

And at 10 o'clock that evening

two of the most desperate of these

rings are simultaneously at work,

each unaware of the others operation.

Employed by the first of this ring

is a man known only as Brodnik.

Brodnik, skillful,

fanatic foreign agent,

whose government will stop at

nothing to achieve its sinister aim.

Theft of the plans of

deadly Lafayette X.V.27.

The second ring is far

more subtle in its operation.

This ring is headed by Godfrey Langston,

ostensibly a wealthy British philanthropist,

actually a man whose loyalty is to

any nation with the highest paycheck.

But when ruthless and

desperate men are at work,

there are always the

innocent who suffer.

The case of the

Lafayette X.V.27 is no exception.

Well at that very moment,

in a nearby nightclub,

a young American ventriloquist

just finishing his act,

quite unaware that before

midnight is to be involved

in one of the most infamous crimes,

in the history of international espionage.

Thank you! Thank you very much!

Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is

our last performance in Paris.

And both Clarence and

I would like to tell you

how much we've grown to love

you and your wonderful Paris.

Speak for yourself, pal,

I can't wait to get out of here!

Don't mind Clarence folks,

he's just jealous, because...

one of the nicest thing that can happen

to anybody in Paris happened to me.

- I fell in love.

- Love, ha, ha, ha.

This dame will take him

for every dime he's got!

This is insulting.

He should drop it from the act.

I wish it was an act!

Just jealous!

Really folks, she's a beautiful,

wonderful girl.

I wish you could see her.

Yeah, you should see her. A blonde,

blue-eyed baby-faced purse snatcher.

- Clarence!

- A peroxide octopus!

- Quiet!

-15 hands and they're all in his pockets.

- Clarence, please!

- A 110 pounds of well stacked rattlesnake!

- Clarence!

- 62 and a half inches of...

That's enough.

Well goodnight folks.

Bless you and goodnight.

Audrey, wait a minute, honey.

I'm terribly sorry.

I promise it won't happen again.

Jerry, I just can't

take it any longer.

It's getting worse all the time,

and tonight the dummy was

completely out of control.

Look honey, you know

I've been terribly upset.

Why don't you try

and be a little patient.

I did try but it just doesn't work.

We met, we fell in love

and it was wonderful.

Sure it was wonderful!

The minute we talk about

marriage, it all changed!

This thing came to life.

It turned into something evil.

It's a monster, it's

some sort of a witch.

- It takes one to know one!

- Clarence!

Jerry, the ballet is leaving for England

tonight and I'm going with them.

Let's just say that this whole

thing was a terrible mistake.

But Audrey, wait a minute,

I can explain all this.

Jerry, look. You need help

and you ought to see a doctor.

- I don't need a doctor!

- You have to straighten yourself out

and then maybe one day we

can get together and try again.

Don't call us, we'll call you.

Oh! Oh.

- Goodbye Jerry!

- Audrey!

Now you, miserable, little monster!

You've done it again!

Good riddance. You weren't

in love with her anyway.

- That's none of your business!

- She was taking you for a ride.

- One more word out of you, Clarence.

- Yes, I'll take the head!

I'm warning you Clarence!

Give a pushover to soft...


That's fine...

twice in one week.

I don't know what's wrong, Marty.

The words keep coming out.

I can't seem to control him anymore.

I'm going to level with you.

You're in trouble, Jerry. Big trouble.

Now, I've done something about it

and I don't want any argument.

You're going to see a doctor,

first thing in the morning.

Well, maybe that the most sensible thing

to do. I just don't know anymore, Marty.

What kind of a doctor?

Best in the business.

His name is Kreuger. He's in Zurich.


I've got hotel reservation,

tickets on a midnight...

Wait a minute.

What is this midnight plane to

Switzerland? What kind of a doctor is he?

- I told you, the best.

- Yeah, I know, the best. But what kind?

Well, sort of a... psychiatrist.

- A head shrinker?

A weight picker?

No, not for me, buddy.

- Jerry, please.

- Why don't you admit it. You think I...

I've goofed my gums, I've blown my fuse.

What you're inferring this much ain't you?

Why do you suddenly want to

take midnight plane to Switzerland?

What's going to be in Switzerland?

Well, I'm very happy here. I've got

a little problem, that I'll work out.

- You think that I've gone crazy...

- Jerry, listen!

Nobody says you're crazy.

But, you're upset, you're disturbed.

I've seen that happen five times.

Now, you meet a girl, you

like her, everything's fine.

And when you get serious, this

thing comes to live and breaks it up.

Only it's getting worse. That's the

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Norman Panama

Norman Kaye Panama (April 21, 1914 – January 13, 2003) was an American screenwriter and film director born in Chicago, Illinois. He collaborated with a former schoolfriend, Melvin Frank, to form a writing partnership which endured for three decades. He also wrote gags for comedians such as Bob Hope's radio program and for Groucho Marx. The most famous films he directed were Li'l Abner (1959), the Danny Kaye film The Court Jester (1956), and the Bob Hope film How to Commit Marriage (1969). He wrote Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948), Road to Utopia (1946), and The Court Jester, among other movies. He won an Edgar Award for A Talent for Murder (1981), a play he co-wrote with Jerome Chodorov. Panama continued to write and direct through the 1980s. He died in 2003 in Los Angeles, California, aged 88, from complications of Parkinson's disease. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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