There's One Born Every Minute

There's One Born Every Minute, also known as Man or Mouse, is a 1942 American Universal Pictures comedy film directed by Harold Young. It was the debut film of Elizabeth Taylor.

There's One Born Every Minute
Poster of There's One Born Every Minute
Directed byHarold Young
Produced byKen Goldsmith
Written byRobert B. Hunt
StarringHugh Herbert
Peggy Moran
Elizabeth Taylor
Music byFrank Skinner
CinematographyJohn W. Boyle
Release date
  • June 26, 1942 (1942-06-26)
Running time
60 minutes
CountryUnited States


With a helpful push from his wife Minerva, Lemuel P. Twine, "Lem", decides to enter the scene of politics, by running a campaign as reform-mayor of his hometown Witumpka Falls. Normally he runs the Twine's Tasty Pudding Powder Company.

Lem is unaware that his financial backer, Lester Cadwalader Sr., wants him to run in order to secure that the current mayor, Moe Carson, is re-elected. When Lem's oldest daughter Helen Barbara is on her way to her date with Cadwalader's son Lester Jr., aka "Les", she accidentally bumps into her ex-boyfriend Jimmy Hanagan, who is just back from marketing studies at college.

Since Jimmy hasn't found work within his field of advertising yet, he is currently working as a clerk at the Cadwalader's general store. When Les sees Helen and Jimmy together he is jealous and end up firing Jimmy from the store. Instead Jimmy gets a job as advertising director for Helen's father's company. At work, Jimmy comes up with the idea of telling the consumers that the puddings are full of Vitamin Z, a made-up healthy ingredient. He goes on to persuade a local scientist, Asa Quiesenberry, to work with him on the marketing of the product, claiming the discovery of the new fantastic vitamin. The product is tested in a faux laboratory and the media is informed of the vitamin's superior qualities. Among other effects, it is said to enhance the female sexual appetite.

The pudding business sky-rockets and the small town is famous nationwide for the new "Zumf" vitamin products. Lem is awarded Witumpka Falls Man of the Year" by the town Chamber of Commerce, and in a newspaper interview with Minerva, she announces the engagement of Helen and Jimmy. These news all upset Les Jr. And Sr. greatly, and they start scheming a plan to ruin the Twine family and their business.

The Cadwaladers claim that the Vitamin Z disappears from the pudding powder after it has aged a while. After some intensive testing of old cases of powder, the Cadwaladers announce, at a dinner in Lem's honor, that they have found no trace of Zumf in the old pudding powder. They also claim Jimmy is a fraud and accuses him of bribing scientists to play along.

Humiliated, Jimmy leaves the Twine family. Lem continues his campaign for mayor and tells the people to elect him as a man, not as the leader of a pudding company. Jimmy returns after a while, and when he does he sees Helen reunited with Les, and becomes very jealous.

That night, Lem meets the ghost of his grandfather Claudius, emerging from a painted portrait on the wall. Claudius warns Lem of the Cadwaladers, and the morning after he meets Jimmy and Quisenberry to tell them about his dream.

When Lem tries to tell Moe Carson about Cadwalader's treacherous behavior, Les Sr arrives and a fistfight between him and Moe ensues. The Cadwaladers are exposed as traitors to the town, through flyers handed out by Jimmy and Helen, and Lem is elected mayor.

Lem urges Jimmy to reconcile with Helen, and he does, after giving her a lesson for getting back together with Les when he was gone. After they make up, Claudius watches happily them from his painting on the wall.[1]



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