6.7/10
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Francis Covers the Big Town (1953)

A man who has a talking mule gets a job on a newspaper, and both get mixed up in a murder trial.

Director:

Arthur Lubin

Writers:

Oscar Brodney (original story and screenplay), David Stern (characters)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Donald O'Connor ... Peter Stirling
Yvette Duguay ... Maria Scola
Gene Lockhart ... Tom Henderson
Nancy Guild ... Alberta Ames
William Harrigan ... Deputy Chief Inspector Hansen
Silvio Minciotti Silvio Minciotti ... Salvatore Scola
Lowell Gilmore ... Jefferson 'JG' Garnet
Larry Gates ... Dan Austin
Hanley Stafford ... Dr. Goodrich
Gale Gordon ... Dist. Atty. Evans
Forrest Lewis Forrest Lewis ... Judge Stanley
Molly ... Francis The Talking Mule (as Francis the Talking Mule)
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Storyline

U.S. Army veteran Peter Stirling and his friend, Francis the talking Mule (who was not a donkey), arrive in New York City, where Peter has ambitions to become a big-time newspaper reporter, but can only get a job as a copy boy. Francis, the talking MULE (and not a donkey), though is boarding at the stables where the horses of the city's mounted police are kept, and mounted-police horses are known for being gossips, so Francis gets lots of inside information regarding local crime activity, passes it on to Peter, and Peter is soon leading the town in big-time scoops. This pleases his city-editor to no end, but the local gangsters are not amused. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 July 1953 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Francis Detective See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donald O'Connor's fourth of six "Francis" movies. See more »

Goofs

When Francis is peeping around the corner, watching Peter get home from the movies. You can see the thread going to his mouth, that they use to make him move his lips. See more »

Connections

Followed by Francis Joins the WACS (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Missouri Waltz (Way down in Missouri)
Written by John Valentine Eppel
Lyrics written by J. R. Shannon
Performed by Chill Wills
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Francis Covers the Big Town (1953) ***
28 July 2004 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

At last! After three unsuccessful attempts at entertainment, this fourth entry worked well for me and is the best of the bunch so far. Francis the Talking Mule and his master, Donald O'Connor (or is it the other way around?) go to New York (the setting alone perks things up a bit) where they become mixed up in all sorts of trouble, including a murder trial. This installment is better written with more time devoted to the donkey, who's actually pretty funny for a change. The script also makes better use of its supporting characters and fashions a love affair for the bumbling O'Connor.

*** out of ****


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