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Pardon My Wrench (1953)

Gil Lamb finds his chief competitor helping his girl friend's father with some household work. When George tells Andy he can not install the garbage disposal, the daughter, in order to help... See full summary »


Hal Yates


Earl Baldwin (screen play)


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Cast overview:
Gil Lamb ... Slim
Andy Clyde ... Andy
Carol Hughes ... Peggy - Andy's Daughter
George Wallace ... Raymond - Gil's Rival
Emil Sitka ... Bogus Plumbing Inspector
Lyle Latell Lyle Latell ... Plumbing Inspector


Gil Lamb finds his chief competitor helping his girl friend's father with some household work. When George tells Andy he can not install the garbage disposal, the daughter, in order to help Gil make an impression on Andy, urges Gil to do the job. The impression made, due to Gil's efforts, is not the impression expected. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Plot Keywords:

two reeler | See All (1) »


Comedy | Short







Release Date:

13 March 1953 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)
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User Reviews

Well, it wasn't wrenching
10 October 2009 | by hte-trasmeSee all my reviews

This is two-reel short comedy comes from a time when the form would have been familiar to all moviegoers, but was well on its way out. The comedy two-reeler's ubiquity had started to diminish as early as the late thirties with the growing prevalence of the double feature, but now the popularity of television was doing still more damage.

"Pardon My Wrench" was my first exposure to Gil Lamb, the feature comic that RKO evidently wished would be as successful in shorts for them as the recently-deceased Leon Erroll had. To me Lamb, makes almost no impression. He seems like the sort of actor who would do fine when someone was needed to walk on and say a few lines, but as a star comedian he adds nothing uniquely funny or interesting to the proceedings. I've read descriptions that emphasize how flexible and rubber-limbed he was, but in this short he doesn't get any chance even to use that trick to get laughs except in the title card.

Maybe to help establish Lamb, RKO hired Andy Clyde -- star of the longest series of two-reelers ever -- "on loan" from Columbia Pictures to appear second-billed as the father of Gil's girlfriend. He's playing his usual "Pops" character and steals the show from Lamb with his increasingly frustrated reactions.

The short is actually a good, solid comedy of frustrations as thrifty Andy is convinced to hire Gil to do his plumbing so he may let him marry his daughter, and is eventually cost more than hiring a plumber would have been worth by Gil's constant errors. There are some nice gags and confusions here (though one involving Andy Clyde's head being banged into the sink because he nose is caught on a metal hook seems more violent than funny), but the way this variation on a old scenario is executed has an ineffable by-the-numbers feel to it.

Andy Clyde and a solid scenario / gag sequence save this short enough to make it enjoyable, but the supposed star comedian is about the least memorable part.

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