One Body Too Many

One Body Too Many is a 1944 American comedy-mystery film directed by Frank McDonald, starring Bela Lugosi and Jack Haley.

One Body Too Many
Promotional release poster
Directed byFrank McDonald
Produced byWilliam H. Pine
William C. Thomas
Written byWinston Miller
Maxwell Shane
StarringJack Haley
Jean Parker
Maxine Fife
Bela Lugosi
Music byAlexander Laszlo
CinematographyFred Jackman Jr.
Edited byHenry Adams
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • November 24, 1944 (1944-11-24)
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States


A timid insurance salesman Albert L. Tuttle (Jack Haley) visits eccentric millionaire Cyrus J. Rutherford, intent on selling him a $200,000 insurance deal. Instead he finds that Rutherford has recently died and his mansion is now full of relatives who are, according to the will, all bound to remain in the mansion until a glass-domed vault is constructed on the roof, to house the deceased millionaire who was an ardent follower of the stars. Tuttle is mistaken for a private detective sent to guard the body, and once the confusion is cleared up and the real detective fails to show, he is convinced by Rutherford's niece Carol Dunlap (Jean Parker) to remain and ensure that the body is not stolen. If the body should be buried any place other than the vault, the will states that recipients who would receive the largest request will receive the smallest, and vice versa. One of the recipients plans to reverse the will in their favor, hide the body and kill anyone who gets in their way. Unfortunately for mild-mannered Tuttle, he is directly in the way of the killer, and the rest of the conniving family.



Pine-Thomas Productions originally specialised in action films but decided to move into comedy and signed Jack Haley to star in movies for the company of which this was the second.[1]

Pine and Thomas originally wanted Boris Karloff for the key horror role.[2] Frank McDonald signed to direct in December 1943, when it was known as Too Many Bodies.[3] Eventually Bela Lugosi was signed.[4]

See also


  1. SCREEN AND STAGE Los Angeles Times 15 July 1943: 12.
  2. SCREEN AND STAGE: Hedda Hopper LOOKING AT HOLLYWOOD Los Angeles Times 21 July 1943: 10.
  3. SREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD New York Times 21 Dec 1943: 25.
  4. DRAMA AND FILM Los Angeles Times 18 Dec 1943: 7.

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