ⓘ Who Done It? (1942 film)

                                     

ⓘ Who Done It? (1942 film)

Who Done It? is a 1942 American comedy-mystery film directed by Erle C. Kenton and starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. It is noteworthy as their first feature that contains no musical numbers.

                                     

1. Plot

Chick Larkin Bud Abbott and Mervyn Milgrim Lou Costello both work at the soda counter of a local radio station. Their true passion, however, is to become writers on a radio mystery show. They attend a broadcast of the radio program Murder at Midnight along with one of the writers, Jimmy Turner Patric Knowles and the producer, Jane Little Louise Allbritton.

As the show begins, the network president, Colonel J.R. Andrews Thomas Gomez, is mysteriously electrocuted. Seeing this as an opportunity to become radio writers, Chick and Mervyn impersonate detectives and attempt to solve the crime.

Meanwhile, Moran William Gargan and Branningan William Bendix, two real detectives, consider the fake detectives to be prime suspects. A chase ensues throughout the studio and other murders are discovered, including that of Dr. Marek Ludwig Stossel, Andrews personal physician. Larkin and Milgrim flee the studio before hearing that Milgrim has apparently won $10.000 on the Wheel of Fortune radio program, for which he must return to the studio in order to claim the prize. Larkin and Milgrim return, only to be arrested by the real detectives, whom Turner and Little manage to convince that there should be a full reenactment of the program that led to the murders, under the ruse that the true culprit will be revealed.

An eavesdropping Nazi spy Don Porter, who uses the radio station to transmit information to his cohorts, attends the broadcast. It turns out that the spy murdered the Colonel and his physician because they found out about his illegal radio transmissions. During the broadcast, he is revealed to be the killer and escapes to the roof, where he is nabbed by Larkin and Milgrim.

                                     

2. Whos on first?

There are two references to the teams popular Whos on First? routine. During the murder scene, Abbott confuses Costello with the "volts-and-watts" routine. Lou bleats, "Next youll be telling me Watts on second base!" Later, in the radio giveaway program scene, Bud and Lou tune the radio to a broadcast of their own Whos on First? routine, which they promptly turn off.

                                     

3. Home media

This film has been released three times on VHS 1989.1991 and 2000. It has also been released twice on DVD. The first time, on The Best of Abbott and Costello Volume One, on February 10, 2004, and again on October 28, 2008 as part of Abbott and Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection.