The Nitwits

The Nitwits is a 1935 American comedy film directed by George Stevens from a screenplay written by Fred Guiol and Al Boasberg, based on a story by Stuart Palmer. Released by RKO on June 7, 1935, the film stars the comedy duo of Wheeler & Woolsey (Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey), with featured roles being filled by Fred Keating, Betty Grable, Evelyn Brent and Erik Rhodes.

The Nitwits
Original theatrical poster
Directed byGeorge Stevens
Produced byLee Marcus
Screenplay byFred Guiol
Al Boasberg
Story byStuart Palmer
StarringBert Wheeler
Robert Woolsey
Music byRoy Webb
CinematographyEdward Cronjager
Edited byJohn Lockert
Release date
  • June 7, 1935 (1935-06-07)[1]
Running time
81 minutes
CountryUnited States

Fred Keating replaced Lionel Atwill, who later played the villain in the 1946 remake, Genius at Work.[2]


Cigar-stand attendants Johnny (Wheeler) and Newton (Woolsey) get mixed up in a murder investigation at a radio station.



The film's original title was Mellodicks, which Lee Marcus, the producer, found repugnant. He offered $50 to any employee of RKO who could come up with a better title. While he received numerous suggestions, he finally settled on the picture's final title, which had been a generic title around the RKO lot for years.[3]


  1. "Inside the Lines: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  3. Watz, Edward (2001). Wheeler & Woolsey. McFarland. p. 232. ISBN 0786411414.
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