Music, Mystery, Murder and Laughter – You’ll Find Out (1940)

You’ll Find Out is a comedy, not a horror as one might suspect with the lineup that it boasts, featuring Kay Kyser in the lead and supported by Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Peter Lorre, Helen Parrish and Dennis O’Keefe. It is a little sad to say that many people today would be scratching their heads and wondering just who Kay Kyser is and part of that would be warranted as Kyser was never an actual movie star. That is not to say that he was a bad actor, because on the contrary, the man actually did a pretty good job. Kyser, for a good portion of his life, was a very successful bandleader, headed up his own orchestra, made stars out of a number of them, had quite a few hit records and was a youll-find-out-7radio star second-to-none with his Kollege of Musical Knowledge. Somewhere along the line, somebody thought that the very personable radio host would make a good actor and suffice it to say, his charms translated well to the motion picture field.

As a comedy, the film works well and there are quite a few laughs and smirks to be had, though there are a few moments where that comedy is dated just a little. Kyser is agreeable in the role of himself and what better role is there to play than the one you put on for the world on a daily basis? In this particular picture, Kyser and his orchestra are hired to play at a party for a young lady out at her estate. Things seem to be going well, at least at first, but then there are some odd happenings that start to take place, coincidentally after Judge Spencer as played by Karloff enters the picture. Once Bela Lugosi and Peter Lorre are introduced, you soon get the idea that they must be involved in the plot to kill Janis, simply due to the fact that they never seem to be around when she is attacked. Of course, Kyser gets himself all mixed up in it and eventually, solves the case.

As a showcase for Kyser, you had to know that it would feature him more than any other of his cohorts, yet for theyoull-find-out-52 amount of time that they did spend on screen, they added more to the picture than anyone else, each man a very striking figure set against the prim and proper ladies attending the party or the members of the band. While Karloff was fairly grim, Lugosi would be almost comical yet still fairly imposing as Prince Saliano the psychic. There are no words to accurately describe just how deliciously wonderful Peter Lorre was in this film. Stoic though he was, the man was also incredibly funny and brought just as much humour to the movie that Kyser did, albeit in a completely different way and by doing far less. O’Keefe was a good straight man and many of Kyser’s bandmates like Ish Kabibble had bigger parts than the horror legends. Still, everyone got a chance to shine and the casting for this film was sheer genius.

Despite being a horror, of which there was just a little, and comedy mashup, there was still enough time in the picture for a few songs and you had to expect it, what with Kay Kyser and his orchestra appearing. Some were better than others of course, with The Bad youll-find-out-53Humor Man being the real standout number among them. It was not only funny, but showcased different members of the band to great effect. While The Bad Humor Man was good, I’d Know You Anywhere would get itself nominated for an Academy Award though it would lose to When You Wish Upon a Star from Pinocchio, which was completely understandable.

There were a lot of movies in this vein back when it was originally released; light, fluffy, feel-good films that catered to those looking for a fun time at the cinema. Most were highly forgettable, but You’ll Find Out, while being much of the same, stands out due to the players involved. It was a truly enjoyable film, a little lighter in tone than one might expect, yet still featuring a little wee bit of horror and mystery at the same time to add a bit of punch.

4 out of 5

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