Murder, He Says ★★★★

Fred MacMurray, polling rural households for the Trotter Poll Company and looking for a missing co-worker, is forcibly detained in the dilapidated farm house of the deranged and murderous Fleagle family. Ma Fleagle (Marjorie Main) keeps her slow-witted twins (Peter Whitney) in line with a bull whip. MacMurray, threatened with death, wants to escape but stays to aid Helen Walker. Walker, impersonating imprisoned thief Bonny Fleagle, is searching for stolen money in order to exonerate her father who was convicted of the theft. The key to the hiding place of the money is a nonsense song lyric sung by Ma’s pretty, but simple minded, daughter (Jean Heather).

First rate slapstick comedy with MacMurray in a well-written role perfectly tailored to his comic talents. Marjorie Main is amusing and believably murderous simultaneously. The entire cast race manically around the Fleagle family’s decrepit house and farm searching for the money and each other. The song lyric is a reverse mondegreen; the listener can reinterpret the nonsense lyrics into sensible phrases.