Mulligan and Garrity
Created by Ralph Spence (1890-1940)

"Out go the lights---on go the thrills! Shrieks! Yells! Roars! Screams! More Shrieks! "MULLIGAN, MULLIGAN, WHERE THE HELL IS MULLIGAN?"
-- tagline

The first film version of the 1925 play by Ralph Spence (original title: The Gorilla: A Mystery Comedy) that lampooned the whole haunted house genre, was silent and appeared only a few years after the play was written. In it, a killer known only as the Gorilla (strangler of men---kidnapper of women!) is the prime suspect in the murder of a wealthy businessman whose daughter hires MULLIGAN and GARRITY (played by Keystone Cops vet Charles Murray), "two famous detectives who hear all, see all and know nothing!" to investigate when her boyfriend (played by a very young Walter Pidgeon) is originally suspected.

In other words, it's all played out as scenery-chewing slapstick, making Spence's already ridiculous original play even more ridiculous.

Still, the bare bones remain, and it's all purportedly good fun. A wealthy man is murdered, and the major suspect is a gorilla. A pair of bumbling detectives investigate, and eventually most of the suspects chase each other around a creepy old mansion full of trap doors, secret passages and the like until the murderer -- a man in a gorilla suit -- is apprehended.

It may not have been exactly high brow entertainment, but the play and this silent movie version both did well to inspire several other films. It was filmed again in 1930 and in 1939 (with the Ritz Brothers). There was even a 1937 Warner Bros. flick called Sh! The Octopus, with the gorilla converted to an octopus.

Throw in some Scooby Snacks and it would be a perfect Scooby Doo episode.



Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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