Bill Denny (Farley Granger, They Live By Night, Rope, Strangers on a Train) had planned to buy his wife (Shelley Winters, Night of the Hunter, Odds Against Tomorrow, A Patch of Blue) a present for their second anniversary. Things did not go as planned when a small Welsh terrier caused a great ruckus in the department store where Denny went shopping for the gift. Disappointed and presentless, Denny trudges home to where his loving wife and criticizing mother-in-law await. Following Denny is the dog. Denny's wife Kate mistakenly believes that the terrier is her anniversary present; she names the dog Archie.
Archie is no ordinary dog. He had escaped from a gang of smugglers who had trained him to be the contact between thr smuggled godds and the money. (Don't ask.) The bad guys wanting to buy the smuggled goods figure the smugglers have played them for fools. The smugglers are desperate to get Archie back nd they place an ad in the local paper. Denny, who gets along with Archie just about as well as he gets along with his mother-in-law, endeavers to return the dog. Confusion, hilarity, mayehm, and murder follow. (The end credits list the cast "in order of disappearance.")
A charming comedy backed up by a stellar cast of character actors, including William Demerest, Lon Chaney, Jr., Hans Conreid, Elisha Cook, Jr., Sheldon Leonard, Allen Jenkins, Henry Corden, Glenn Anders, Francis L. Ssullivan, and Margalo Gilmore. And with characters named Fat Freddy, Pete the Pusher, Gillie the Blade, Shortwave Bert, Pinky, Numi, and Max the Umbrella, you know you are in for a few smiles.
Helmed by first-time director George Beck, who also wrote these screenplay, Behave Yourself! is a pleasant time-waster chock-full of some of the era's most engaging actors.