I Dood IT

I Dood It (1943) is a musical-comedy film starring Red Skelton and Eleanor Powell, directed by Vincente Minnelli, and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The screenplay is by Fred Saidy and Sig Herzig and the film features Richard Ainley, Patricia Dane, Lena Horne, and Hazel Scott. John Hodiak plays a villain in this production, just his third movie role. Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra provide musical interludes.

Skelton plays an "average Joe" who is madly in love with Constance Shaw (Eleanor Powell), a big Broadway musical star. Much to his surprise, Constance agrees to marry him, thinking he's a rich mining tycoon, and much of the film deals with the consequences of this misunderstanding.

Powell's most notable performance in the film comes near the beginning when she executes a complex dance routine involving lariats and cowboys. Powell, in her introduction to the book Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance, recalled that she knocked herself unconscious while rehearsing a stunt for this sequence involving a rope and ultimately had to don a football helmet to protect herself. The final dance scene with Powell was lifted from an earlier movie Born to Dance (1936). Many of the physical gags were lifted from the Buster Keaton film Spite Marriage (1929). Keaton had an uncredited role in writing gags for some of Skelton's early films.

Skelton and Powell had previously worked together in Ship Ahoy (1942). In that film, they appeared with Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy's brother.

This was Powell's final starring role in an MGM film. After this, she would make a cameo appearance in Thousands Cheer, play a lead role in the non-MGM film Sensations of 1945, and make another cameo in the 1950 MGM film, Duchess of Idaho before retiring from the screen for good.

The rather ungrammatical title was from one of Red Skelton's radio catchphrases of the day. In 1942 Jack Owens, The Cruising Crooner, wrote a song for Skelton based on it: "I Dood It! (If I Do, I Get A Whippin')", but that song does not appear in this film.

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