Never a Dull Moment (1968 film)

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Never a Dull Moment
Never a Dull Moment - theatrical poster.jpg
Official theatrical poster
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by A. J. Carothers
Based on The Reluctant Assassin by John Godey
by Morton Freedgood
Produced by Ron Miller
Starring Dick Van Dyke
Edward G. Robinson
Dorothy Provine
CinematographyWilliam E. Snyder
Edited byMarsh Hendry
Music byRobert F. Brunner
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release date
  • June 26, 1968 (1968-06-26)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$4,150,000 (US/ Canada rentals) [1]

Never a Dull Moment is a 1968 American heist comedy crime film from Walt Disney Productions starring Dick Van Dyke and Edward G. Robinson and directed by Jerry Paris. The script by A. J. Carothers was based The Reluctant Assassin by John Godey. The supporting cast features Dorothy Provine, Henry Silva, Slim Pickens and Jack Elam. Master cartoonist Floyd Gottfredson created a comic strip, Astro Pooch, to be used as a prop in the film. [2]


It was re-released theatrically on April 15, 1977 on a double bill with a re-edited version of The Three Caballeros (1944) in featurette form.


Second-rate actor Jack Albany finds himself mistaken for fiendish killer Ace Williams and whisked off to master gangster Leo Smooth's fortified mansion. He is forced to continue with the charade, even when he finds he is to play a deadly role in the theft of the painting Field of Sunflowers, a 40 foot long masterpiece. Sally, an art teacher, is a potential ally for Jack.

Further complications ensue when the real Ace Williams shows up, making it even more difficult for Albany to keep up his false identity. Eventually, Albany outwits the gangsters and foils the robbery.



Howard Thompson of The New York Times gave Never a Dull Moment a largely negative review, calling it "good-natured" but claiming that "most of it seems mighty strenuous and over-worked." Thompson saved most of his praise for the cartoon that accompanied the film, a reissue of Disney's Three Little Pigs from 1933. (This short also accompanied releases of The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band in some cities.) [3] Arthur D. Murphy of Variety called it "a very amusing crime comedy" if "a bit long and talky." [4] Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times declared it "the breeziest and most likeable Disney comedy in some time, with a verve and (relative) sophistication which can engage the favoring interest of the grown-ups as well as the moppets." [5] Clifford Terry of the Chicago Tribune wrote, "The Disney studio comedy starts off amusingly enough, then loses its freshness after the first half hour. But the kids probably won't notice." [6] The Monthly Film Bulletin stated, "With no pretensions to being anything but a rollicking farce, this slight but intermittently amusing comedy largely succeeds on its own modest level." [7] The San Francisco Examiner's Jeanne Miller panned the film, writing that "all but the very young will probably take issue with the title of Never a Dull Moment, which opened yesterday at the Fox-Warfield. For things get very dull indeed in this uninspired, cliche-ridden spoof about a band of zany gangsters who plan the heist of a Manhattan art museum. Of course, the movie was designed by the Walt Disney Studio for the kiddies' summer vacation. But all the wacky misadventures must surely be familiar to the moppets who have seen them over and over again on their TV sets." [8]

See also

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  1. "Big Rental Films of 1970", Variety, 6 January 1971 p 11
  2. "Astro Pooch (XU ASPO 1) | I.N.D.U.C.K.S."
  3. Thompson, Howard (August 15, 1968). 'Never a Dull Moment'. The New York Times .
  4. Murphy, Arthur D. (May 15, 1968). "Film Reviews: Never A Dull Moment". Variety . 26.
  5. Champlin, Charles (August 9, 1968). "Disney Sprinkles Salt on Innocence in 'Moment'". Los Angeles Times . Part IV, p. 1.
  6. Terry, Clifford (August 7, 1968). "'Never Dull' Is Frantic". Chicago Tribune . Section 2, p. 8.
  7. "Never a Dull Moment". The Monthly Film Bulletin . 35 (415): 120. August 1968.
  8. Miller, Jeanne (June 26, 1968). "Dick Van Dyke Brightens Disney's 'Dull Moment'". San Francisco Examiner . p. 30.