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Monday, January 10, 2022

You’ll Find Out (1940)

This looked interesting and I thought it was just another low budget movie from the “Poverty Row” studios that made quickie movies all thru the thirties and forties. I hadn’t heard of the star of the movie, Kay Kyser, but when I noticed some of the other cast, I got very excited about it. We get Peter Lorre, Bela Lugosi, and Boris Karloff together for the first and only time. This is one heck of a collection of genre actors!

Kay Kyser is playing himself, a band leader that has some comedy bits mixed in his act to entertain the audience. His band, and that is how they are billed here, is hired to play a young woman’s twenty first birthday party. It is to take place at her aunt’s estate, which is of course a creepy old house in the middle of nowhere. We also find out that she thinks someone has been trying to kill her after she is nearly run down by a car. Something sketchy is definitely going on. They arrive at the house as a big storm blows in. Not long after their arrival the bridge blows up stranding them and the other guests at the house. More attempts are made to kill the young lady, secret passages and hidden doors are found. Bad guys are revealed, and music is made. Lots of music…

This isn’t a great movie. There is a lot of time spent watching the band do their act. I think there were five or six musical numbers, which was far too many for my taste. Though I understand that the movie was a vehicle for Kay Kyser who was I suppose very popular at the time. I can’t blame them for giving the audience at the time what they expected. We also get to see him try his hand at comedy, which isn’t very good. This clearly wasn’t Kyser’s thing and his hijinks as the band leader don’t translate well to the screen. They also used gags from what I think must have been their stage act and feature a couple of the horn section players as well. None of it played well with me. Maybe I’m spoiled by the Bowery Boys, Abbott and Costello, and of course the Three Stooges. But the timing and execution of the gags wasn’t great. 

These guys were awesome!
Where the movie is at its best is when the big three of Lugosi, Lorre, and Karloff are on screen. They don’t get a lot of scenes together, but when they do it is gold. Karloff is especially good as the family friend who we find out early is the bad guy. Yeah, this movie reveals what is going on far too early and ruins any actual mystery that might have been. Still three genre legends sharing the screen is a lot of fun to watch. There is one scene in particular where you can see the chemistry and magic of Lorre and Karloff going back and forth. Unfortunately, we don’t get a lot of this and that was a bummer. 

I wouldn’t consider this a recommendation. The movie has a lot of pacing issues as it just stops for musical numbers too often. This kills any momentum and makes for a bit of a boring viewing experience. I also just didn’t like the attempts at comedy from Kyser and his band. They just aren’t funny. I do dig the performances from the horror icons, but they aren’t on screen enough to save You’ll Find Out. The only reason to watch this is if you have the overwhelming need to see as many of these actor’s movies as possible. Then it might be worth a single watch. 


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