A Christmas Wish [ The Great Rupert ] (1950)

▸▸The Great Rupert is a 1950 comedy family film starring Jimmy Durante, Tom Drake and Terry Moore, produced by George Pal and directed by Irving Pichel. It is based on a story written by Ted Allan that has also been published as a children’s book under the title Willie the Squowse.

The story revolves around a little animated squirrel who, with much charm, accidentally helps two economically distressed families overcome their obstacles.

PLOT

Rosalinda Amendola, the daughter of happy but impoverished former acrobats, is in love with the boy next door, aspiring composer Pete Dingle. Though Pete’s parents are wealthy, his miserly father Frank hides his money in the wall.

Joe Mahoney, a vaudeville performer who has fallen on hard times, has to leave his best friend and stage companion Rupert, a dancing squirrel, in the town. Rupert will have to fend for himself with the other squirrels and live in a tree. Unsatisfied with tree life, Rupert gains access to the Dingle home and makes his bed in Frank’s hidden cache of money. He clears room by throwing the money through a hole, causing it to float down into the Amendola house and appear as if sent from heaven in answer to Rosalinda’s prayers.

Taxmen and cops converge on the Amendola house to discover the source of the family’s wealth.

CREATORS

Directed by Irving Pichel
Written by Ted Allen (story) and László Vadnay
Produced by George Pal
Cinematography Lionel Lindon
Edited by Duke Goldstone
Music by Leith Stevens
Production companies George Pal Productions and Legend Films
Restored and upscaled by moonflix, LLC

CAST

Jimmy Durante as Mr. Louie Amendola
Terry Moore as Rosalinda Amendola
Tom Drake as Peter ‘Pete’ Dingle
Frank Orth as Mr. Frank Dingle
Sara Haden as Mrs. Katie Dingle
Queenie Smith as Mrs. Amendola
Chick Chandler as Phil Davis
Jimmy Conlin as Joe Mahoney
Rupert, an animated squirrel
Hugh Sanders as Mulligan
Don Beddoe as Mr. Haggerty
Candy Candido as Molineri – Florist
Clancy Cooper as Police Lt. Saunders
Harold Goodwin as Callahan – F.B.I. Man
Frank Cady as Mr. Taney – Tax Investigator
Irving Pichel as Puzzled Pedestrian (uncredited)

Original release date:
March 1, 1950

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Genres: New Arrivals, Movies, 1950's, Color Classics, Comedy, Comedy, American Classics, Color Movies, ALL Movies, Comedy Movies, Stop Motion Animation, Christmas Collection

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