An illiterate stooge in a traveling medicine show wanders into a strange town and is picked up on a vagrancy charge. The town's corrupt officials mistake him for the inspector general whom they think is traveling in disguise. Fearing he will discover they've been pocketing tax money, they make several bungled attempts to kill him.
Oh, I have no wife. None of my family had wives. My father didn't like wives. I mean, my mother didn't like my father's wives. Danny Kaye was a wonderful performer, he would sing, dance, tell jokes, turn his face into rubber and just generally come off as a quality humanitarian. The Inspector General showcases all of those talents. Directed by Henry Koster, The Inspector General is loosely adapted from Nikolai Gogol's classic Russian story, and it finds Kaye as a stooge of Walter Slezak's iffy tonic peddler who is mistaken by iffy officials of a small Russian town for the much feared and respected Inspector General. Cue mistaken identity mayhem as the music numbers, gags, visual contortions and all round slapstick ensues. Also along for the ride are Elsa Lanchester, Alan Hale, Barbara Bates and Gene Lockhart. It's more a safe and solid Kaye movie for the family to enjoy, rather than a high end classic like The Court Jester, but sometimes the high energy jinks of Kaye is all you need to lift the blues away. 7/10