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Kennedy the Great (1939)

A short film about a family man who realizes he's a bore at social gatherings so he purchases a trunk full of magic tricks hoping to soon be the life of the party.


Charles E. Roberts


Charles E. Roberts (story), George Jeske (story)


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Cast overview:
Edgar Kennedy ... Edgar Kennedy
Vivien Oakland ... Vivien Kennedy (as Vivian Oakland)
Billy Franey ... Pop - Vivien's Father
Robert Graves Robert Graves ... Mr. John Potter
Barbara Jo Allen ... Mrs. John Potter
Keith Hitchcock Keith Hitchcock ... Ship Steward (as Keith Kenneth)


Edgar Kennedy is a big bore, which costs him a lucrative business partnership with John Potter. So when Edgar sees a magazine advertisement on how to become the life of the party, he sends away for what is being advertised: a magic kit. Included within the tricks is the disappearing trunk, the person inside who magically "disappears, but really escapes from a secret exit which is triggered by a button inside the trunk. Edgar hopes to impress Mr. Potter a second time around with his magic prowess when Potter gives Edgar another chance with another business meeting to discuss that partnership. The partnership may hinge on the fact not only if Edgar can make the subject disappear, but more importantly make her reappear in one piece, that subject being Mrs. Potter. In carrying out the trick, Edgar may teleport more than Mrs. Potter into the netherworld. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

magic | party | magic trick | See All (3) »


Comedy | Short







Release Date:

8 December 1939 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Kennedy the Magician
27 April 2016 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Kennedy the Great (1939)

** (out of 4)

Edgar Kennedy is a social bore and no matter who he's trying to entertain he usually puts them to sleep. He decides to order a magic kit to impress a possible client but naturally things go wrong.

KENNEDY THE GREAT is just one of well over a hundred shorts that Kennedy made at RKO and while it's entertaining there really aren't any great laughs to be found. The best thing about the picture is certainly Kennedy who has a great presence on the screen and he at least keeps you glued to everything he's doing. The supporting players aren't all that bad but the screenplay just doesn't have much going for it. There's a long running gag about being trapped in a case and while it's amusing it just isn't funny.

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