Walt Disney’s The Apple Dumpling Gang, starring Don Knotts, Tim Conway, Bill Bixby, Susan Clark – DVD review
Many people who were children during 1975 will remember Walt Disney’s The Apple Dumpling Gang with fondness. The basic plot involves three orphans, who become the responsibility of Russell Donovan (played by Bill Bixby), a bachelor and small-time con artist who wants nothing more than to be free of them. After spending time trying to foist the children upon someone else, it’s found out that they own the deed to a gold mine, formerly thought to be worthless, but that produced a sizable nugget of gold after an earthquake.
Now the townspeople are interested in the children, including a pair of inept thieves, played hilariously by Don Knotts and Tim Conway. The only person who truly cares for the children (besides Donovan, who’s slowly growing attached to the “three little swindlers” ) is Magnolia “Dusty” Clydesdale (Susan Clark), the inevitable love interest.
So, how does the movie hold up after 30 years? (more…)
The Incredible Mr. Limpet, starring Don Knotts
The Incredible Mr. Limpet is a very funny, entertaining film, starring Don Knotts as the mild-mannered Henry Limpet. Set during World War II, the patriotic Mr. Limpet, an avid fan of fish, tries to enlist in the Navy, only to be rejected due to his poor eyesight. A wish magically comes true, and Henry Limpet is turned into a fish.
He becomes the Navy’s secret weapon during World War II, single-handedly (or in his case, single-fin-edly) protecting America’s shores from German U-boat submarine attacks, as well as helping the Navy with the invasion of Normandy, courtesy of an undersea “roar” that can stop a torpedo. (more…)
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) starring Don Knotts, Joan Staley, Dick Sargent
In The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, Luther Heggs (played by Don Knotts), is a typesetter for his small town newspaper, the Rachel Courier Express. He aspires to be a reporter however and gets his big break when the editor (played by Dick Sargent of Bewitched fame) asks him to spend the night at the old Simmons mansion that, 20 years before, was the site of a now-famous murder-suicide.
The case has aroused local interest not only because of the anniversary but because the nephew of the murdered couple, Nicholas Simmons, has returned to Rachel aiming to tear the mansion down. Luther’s night in the mansion is nothing less than spending the night in a haunted house, complete with ghostly organ music (with bloody fingerprints on the organ keys), a sliding bookshelf that reveals a hidden staircase, and a painting of the murdered woman with a pair of garden shears stabbing the painting in the neck. (more…)