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One Hysterical Night (1929)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 6 October 1929 (USA)
The scheming aunt and uncle of William Judd, heir to the family fortune, persuade him to pose as Napoleon at a fancy masquerade ball, but they are actually having him committed to an insane... See full summary »


William James Craft (as William J. Craft)


Reginald Denny (story and scenario), Earle Snell (additional dialogue)




Complete credited cast:
Reginald Denny ... William 'Napoleon' Judd
Nora Lane ... Nurse Josephine
E.J. Ratcliffe E.J. Ratcliffe ... Wellington
Fritz Feld ... Paganini
Slim Summerville ... Robin Hood
Joyzelle Joyner ... Salome (as Joyzelle)
Jules Cowles ... William Tell
Walter Brennan ... Paul Revere
Henry Otto ... Dr. Hayden
Margaret Campbell Margaret Campbell ... Mrs. Bixby
Peter Gawthorne Peter Gawthorne ... Mr. Bixby
D.R.O. Hatswell D.R.O. Hatswell ... Claude Bixby
Rolfe Sedan Rolfe Sedan ... Arthur Bixby
Lloyd Whitlock Lloyd Whitlock ... Attorney Thurston


The scheming aunt and uncle of William Judd, heir to the family fortune, persuade him to pose as Napoleon at a fancy masquerade ball, but they are actually having him committed to an insane asylum. Since all the other inmates/attendees think they are historical figures such as Robin Hood, the Duke of Wellington, Paul Revere, William Tell, Salome, Robinson Crusoe, Sherlock Holmes and others, it takes a while for Judd to separate the wheat from the chaff and prove he is not deranged. His quest becomes more urgent when he falls in love with a nurse named Josephine, who does not think she is Napoleon's "Josephine" but is convinced Judd thinks he is Napoleaon. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


YOU'LL RAVE! YOU'LL ROAR WITH LAFFS! (original poster) See more »


Comedy | Romance








Release Date:

6 October 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bom Na Parte See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

I, Napoleon
30 August 2017 | by MaliejandraSee all my reviews

William Judd (Reginald Denny) is heir to the family fortune. His jealous aunt and cousins plot to part him from it, feeling they should have received it in the first place. There is a clause that states Judd must be of sound mind to get the inheritance, so they set out to prove he is insane. They convince him they are going to a costume party and give him a Napoleon suit to wear. They tell him there is a big prize involved and they have a good shot at winning if he sticks to the part absolutely. Then they take him to a sanitarium for evaluation. Everyone there thinks he is a historical figure, one of whom feels especially roiled by Napoleon, of which they've had many over the years. Judd plays along famously and gets himself committed. He realizes what is going on too late and must prove his sanity among the insane.

The sanitarium is impressive, and the inmates must be very wealthy because the rooms are impressively large and furnished with historically accurate furniture pieces. There are a few good laughs and shocking lines. The story idea is a clever one, but it would have been much better suited to a two-reel comedy rather than a feature film. The gags run on too long and the story becomes tedious. However, it is very memorable.

This film was screened at Capitolfest in 2017.

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