Georgi (Danny Kaye) happily wanders the countryside as a minstrel in Yakov Goury's snake oil show. He enjoys the singing and dancing but eventually ripping off old ladies finally gets to him. He tries to return an elderly lady's pennies after she purchases a bottle of Yakov's Elixir and the whole village overhears it's a fraud. Georgi and Yakov (Walter Slezak) are promptly chased out of town by pitchfork carrying peasants.
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The sideshow owner who is less than honest is also less than happy with Georgi. He tells the singer that he is an illiterate fool and makes him leave. Georgi is afraid of being alone and argues with Yakov that he can read. The angry man produces a fake letter from Napoleon and tells him to read it. Of course Georgi cannot read. Yakov is further angered and the letter is ripped in half. This is actually a lucky thing for Georgi and the half he ends up with looks very official.
Georgi hasn't eaten for two days and is starving by now. He travels to the next village is search of a few scraps and is teased mercilessly by the town guardsmen. He does make friends with a horse who keeps trying to follow him. This leads to his arrest for theft and he is locked away in prison.
He is very fearful of being hanged for the uncommitted crime but a second stroke of luck sets him free. The city officials had been previously warned of a possible visit by the Inspector General. When the accused man is searched , the Napoleon letter is produced. This leads the not so smart city officials to believe that he is actually the inspector in disguise. The mayor, (Gene Lockhart) welcomes him to town and tells Kovatch (Alan Hale), the head militia man, to give Georgi his uniform. The entourage proceeds to the mayor's house for a feast.
The poor starving prisoner turned official is greeted by the mayor's wife Maria (Elsa Lanchester) . She immediately takes to him and is hoping he will take her away to France. Georgi has other plans. He has noticed the very pretty kitchen maid named Leza (Barbara Bates). Although he is struck by her beauty, he doesn't plan to stick around long enough to get to know her. If they townspeople find out he is lying it will be a hanging for sure.
Georgi tries to escape but bumps into Yakov outside. The trickster tells him of corruption in the town and influences him to stay by telling him he can clean the place up. The story is that the city officials have collected tax money for a church organ. Instead of buying the organ they pocketed the money and said the organ was destroyed by fire. Leza confirms this story and also begs Georgi to help. The enamored man agrees but gets himself into a much bigger mess.
The town officials all begin to try bribing the imposter inspector and Yakov encourages him to take it. This way they can buy back the organ for the people. It wouldn't be doing anything wrong because it was the people's money to begin with. The trusting Georgi believes the conniving man who intends to steal the money for himself. Yakov also suggest to the mayor that this money isn't enough and that the inspector wants more. The greedy officials meet and conspire to have Georgi bumped off. Leza overhears the conversation and sends the unsuspecting man a warning note. Once again, Georgi‘s inability to read is a problem. Yakov reads the note and tells Georgi it's a love letter. He says that Leza wants to meet for a rendezvous in the barn at midnight. Knowing this is when the men plan to attack, Yakov doesn't care. He wants to take all of the money for himself. Georgi is thrilled and can't wait for the party to be over so that he may meet the girl of his dreams. Does this mean curtains for the kind hearted Georgi?
The review of this Movie prepared by Talea