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The Busy Body
IMDB Rating: 5.8/10 from votes
Release: 12 March 1967 (USA) /

The Busy Body

Genre: Comedy
Director: Ben Starr,
Stars: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Synopsis: Sid Caesar plays a bumbling gopher to mob boss Robert Ryan who discovers a large theft of mob money. His bookkeeper is killed shortly before he can reveal the thief. When the discovery is made, Ryan suspects Caesar as the culprit, and probable murderer of the bookkeeper. Caesar spends the rest of the movie trying to find the real killer and a corpse buried in a suit lined with the stolen money. Written by alfiehitchie

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Critic Reviews

This is definitely not the greatest film comedy, but it has it's moments.

The plot has to do with mob boss Ryan's discovery of a large scale theft of cash that seemed about to be uncovered by his mob's bookkeeper, Bill Dana. Dana is killed in front of Ryan and his right hand gopher Sid Caesar while barbecuing (somebody tampered with the oil used on the barbecue grill). When the discovery is made, Ryan zeroes in on Caesar as the thief, and probable murderer of Dana. Caesar spends the film trying to 1) keep out of the hands of Ryan and his goons (Godfrey Cambridge and Marty Ingalls), 2) keep out of the hands of the police (Richard Pryor), 3) keep his meddlesome mother out of his hair (Kay Medford), 4) solve the mystery of the death of Dana and his disappearing corpse, 5) find out who, exactly, is trying to frame him, and 6) looking after Dana's newly made widow (Arlene Golonka) who is looking very appealing to Caesar.

Actually the plot fits pretty well, but it is a so-so plot for all that. I think by the time the film is half-way through you will realize who the framer is. But it is the little shticks by borscht belt comics, Caesar, Jan Murray, Cambridge (with Ingalls), Dana (briefly), and with long time comedian Ben Blue and recent arrivals Richard Pryor and Dom DeLuis, that should hold one's attention. Blue is the perennial nervous nelly, a witness against Caesar who is confronted by him (not threatened by him, mind you, but confronted) and keeps collapsing in fear of being tortured. As mentioned in another comment on this thread, a woman tries to vamp a dummy that Caesar has left at a bus stop. You have to understand that Caesar introduced her to the dummy as his friend , Matthias Kreplach, who was rich. The woman leaves in a huff when Matthias just won't respond to her chatter - he just sits there like a dummy.

I may add that while that scene is good, my favorite moment is the last scene involving Jan Murray and Anne Baxter as a larcenous husband and wife. He gets a final rise out of her that George Sanders did not achieve in ALL ABOUT EVE.

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