The Great Rupert
aka A Christmas Wish
Animal / Comedy / Family / Holiday
Directed by Irving Pichel
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 as Himself the Squirrel
George Pal Productions released The Great Rupert (aka A Christmas Wish) in 1950. The funny and heart-warming family holiday film was directed by Irving Pichel.
Rupert, billed as the the World’s Greatest Entertainer by his manager Joe Mahoney, is a dancing squirrel.
The movie is about the Amendolas, a vaudeville family, that is struggling to make ends meet and they move into an apartment just before Christmas. The apartment is owned by Frank Dingle, a tightwad of a man. Joe Mahoney was a tenant in the building but is evicted by Mr. Dingle when he can’t pay his rent because he can’t sell Rupert’s act and Rupert takes up residency in the attic of the building.
Each week Mr. Dingle receives a check from his gold mine stock and, not trusting banks, deposits the cash into the wall of his bedroom – right into Rupert’s paws.
Overhearing the plight of the Amendolas, Rupert takes each week’s deposit and drops it into the Amendola’s apartment for them. And in the meantime, a romance is blossoming between the Amendola’s daughter, Rosalinda, and Mr. Dingle’s son, Pete.