The Inspector General (1949)
One of the most classic movies about mistaken identity, it takes place in an unnamed town, where corrupt officials, most of whom are related to one another, arrest a “medicine salesman” as a vagrant. Town officials believed the “vagrant” to be the region’s inspector general in disguise come to investigate them for unlawfully pocketing tax dollars. They bungle multiple attempts to do away with him. Audiences and critics regard Danny Kaye’s performance to be “the best of our time.”
A bold example of the genre, the film is highly entertaining, with some hilarious and often satirical dialogue, punctuated by Kaye’s brand of physical humor.
This musical comedy, (suggested by the Play of the same name by Nikolai Gogo and performed in 1836 in the Russian Empire), was adapted for a screenplay by Philip Rapp and Harry Kunitz, lyrics and music by Sylvia Fine (married to the star Danny Kaye), musical score and direction by Johnny Green.