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Francis Covers the Big Town
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Genre:Fantasy
Year:1953
Rating:NR
Cast:Arthur Lubin, Donald O'Connor, Yvette Dugay, Gene Lockhart

In this fourth of the "Francis" series, former Army officer Peter Stirling (Donald O'Connor) becomes a reporter for a big city newspaper. His greatest source of news tips is his talking mule Francis (voice by Chill Wills), who has become friendly with all the police horses. When asked how he manages to stay abreast of the news, Peter tries to explain about Francis, and is not unexpectedly labelled a looney-tune. But when Peter is brought to court on a homicide charge, Francis breaks his self-imposed rule of talking only to Peter and testifies on his master's behalf. With Francis' aid, Peter cracks the murder case and is graduated to star reporter. At fadeout time, Francis is seen wooing a female zebra, explaining "Don't let the striped pajamas fool ya." Francis Covers Big Town is harmless fun, bolstered by an expert supporting cast, including the always reliable Gene Lockhart (as Peter's editor) and Gale Gordon (as a flustered D.A.). Hal Erickson

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