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Film / George Washington Slept Here

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George Washington Slept Here is a 1942 comedy film starring Jack Benny, Ann Sheridan, Charles Coburn, Percy Kilbride, and Hattie McDaniel. It was based on the 1940 play of the same name by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, adapted by Everett Freeman, and was directed by William Keighley.

Manhattanite Connie Fuller (Sheridan) secretly acquires a dilapidated house in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, without her husband Bill's (Benny) knowledge. The couple were forced out of their New York City apartment after their dog damaged the carpets. The house Connie buys is believed to have served as George Washington's temporary home during the Revolutionary War. Connie takes Bill on a tour of the countryside including the house, hoping that Bill will fall in love with it. He's not as taken with it as she is.

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Tropes:

  • The Alleged House: The broken-down house that Connie buys definitely qualifies. It quickly becomes a money pit and leads to a pending foreclosure.
  • Blatant Lies: Bill and Connie (and the rest of her family) pretend to enjoy visits from long-winded but rich Uncle Stanley hoping to be remembered in his will and he does nothing to disabuse them of this notion, but the truth is he lost everything in The Great Depression and uses his relatives' greed to freeload on them.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Connie's spoiled nephew Raymond.
  • City Mouse: The Fullers.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: The invasion of the 17-year-locusts leaves Bill and Mr. Kimber in this state.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jack Benny in his usual form.
  • Jerkass: The Fuller's thoroughly unlikable neighbour Mr. Prescott won't let them use his road to get to their house, and plans to buy the house and land when the bank forecloses.
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  • Mistaken for Cheating: Bill thinks Connie is having an affair with local antiques dealer Jeff Douglas. He's also something of a local historian and is helping her prove that the access road and also a well that Prescott claims are his are actually on the Fuller property.
  • Tap on the Head: Mr. Kimber delivers one to Raymond to prevent him from blowing Uncle Stanley's cover when he engages in a Zany Scheme to save the house from foreclosure (see below).
  • Title Drop: Given as one of the reasons Connie bought the house.
  • Zany Scheme: Uncle Stanley tries to pull the Uncle Pennybags bit to stall for time while he tries to hock some of his stuff to cover the mortgage.
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