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The Cuckoos (1930)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical | 4 May 1930 (USA)
Two phony fortune tellers get mixed up with gypsies.


Paul Sloane


Guy Bolton (book), Bert Kalmar (book) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Bert Wheeler ... Sparrow
Robert Woolsey ... Professor Cunningham
Dorothy Lee ... Anita
Jobyna Howland ... Fannie Furst
Hugh Trevor ... Billy Shannon
June Clyde ... Ruth Chester
Ivan Lebedeff ... Baron de Camp
Marguerita Padula Marguerita Padula ... Gypsy Queen
Mitchell Lewis ... Julius
Raymond Maurel Raymond Maurel ... Gypsy Singer


Fake fortune teller Professor Bird and his assistant Sparrow are in a Mexican resort near a gambling casino. Sparrow has fallen for Anita, an American girl who has lived with gypsies since she was four. But the gypsy leader Julius also wants her, and is willing to get her at any cost. Also at the casino are Miss Furst and her niece Ruth, who loves aviator Billy, but Miss Furst wants her to marry the Baron. But the Baron is only after Ruth's money. Miss Furst is very interested in contacting her late husband and hires Bird, especially after he helped her getting back her purse that was stolen by Julius. The Baron teams up with the Gypsies, after he noticed that Ruth and Billy are secretly engaged and has her kidnapped. Anita, who followed Sparrow is also taken back to Mexico. Billy, Bird and Sparrow start of to Mexico on their separate ways to free their girls, but it's not so easy, especially when staying at a hotel with some strange other guests and very careful gypsy guards. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gypsy | fortune teller | See All (2) »


Miss your lunch, miss your dinner, miss your sleep- if you must miss something! But don't under any condition miss the screen's gift to those who want to laugh. (Print Ad- Edmonton Journal, ((Edmonton, Alta.)) 31 July 1930) See more »


Comedy | Musical








Release Date:

4 May 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Radio Revels See more »


Box Office


$407,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)


Black and White | Color (2-strip Technicolor) (three sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film is based on the Broadway musical comedy "The Ramblers", which opened at the Lyric Theatre, 213 W. 42nd St., on September 20, 1926 and ran for 289 performances until May 28, 1927. See more »


When Billy lands his plane, he motions to shut off the engine - and its sound stops instantly, even though the prop is still turning. See more »


Baron de Camp: Ah, here you are - the two women of my dreams.
Fannie Furst: Ah, there's a man for you. He dreams of women in pairs.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There are still several TV prints around that are missing the Technicolor sequences. The recently restored print seems to be complete, including the long lost finale. See more »


Referenced in The Lady Consents (1936) See more »


All Alone Monday
(1926) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Ruby
Lyrics by Bert Kalmar
Performed by June Clyde and Hugh Trevor
See more »

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User Reviews

Aged Wheeler & Woolsey Musical
2 February 2000 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A kidnapped heiress & a daring pilot. A wicked baron & an evil gypsy king. A wealthy matron & a cute young Romany. Not to mention a couple of fake psychics who are as crazy as THE CUCKOOS in any clock.

This ancient musical was Wheeler & Woolsey's 2nd film (Bert Wheeler is the little curly-haired guy; Robert Woolsey is the skinny bespectacled one). The Boys are always fun to watch, and they've got some good songs, but when they're off screen the film groans badly. However, it must be said that the massive Jobyna Howland is a great Dumont-esque foil for them & more than holds her own.

The Boys' frequent kewpie-doll co-star, Dorothy Lee, is on hand - and in Wheeler's arms. Ivan Lebedeff is OK as the villain. The romance between June Clyde & Hugh Trevor is dull stuff.

Three early Technicolor scenes are included and they are easy on the eyes. Some of the musical numbers seem to exist solely for the purpose of exhibiting the RKO chorus girls in various stages of undress.

Wondering what a band of Eastern European gypsies are doing in Northern Mexico? In films like this you don't ask questions like that...

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