The Whole Town's Talking

A brisk, snappy comedy with Robinson in a double role: as the timid, dependable clerk Jones, and the notorious gangster, Killer Mannion. An accountant with a cat he calls Abelard and a canary named Heloise, Jones dreams of exotic places and his spunky colleague Miss Clark (Arthur). It is only after he has been mistaken for his doppelgänger (who then 'borrows' the special ID card issued to the clerk by the police to avoid similar errors in the future) that Jones finds the courage of his convictions. Adapted from a WR Burnett story by Frank Capra's regular collaborators Robert Riskin and Jo Swerling, this low budget comedy sneaked past the Hays Office ban on gangster movies, but proved so popular that the genre was immediately revived. Ford may parody the conventions of the crime film, but his picture is as subversive as any Little Caesar: when the worm turns, it might as well be on his boss or on the police as on the hoods who have kidnapped his precious Miss Clark.

Release details

Duration: 95 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Ford
Screenwriter: Jo Swerling, Robert Riskin
Cast: Edward G Robinson
Jean Arthur
Wallace Ford
Arthur Hohl
Edward Brophy
Arthur Byron
Donald Meek
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