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MikeBSG

British comedies

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I found a George Formby film on YouTube today. His brand of humor is certainly unique. When he's not being silly, he goes around playing a ukulele.

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I love those old British variety theater comedians who crossed over into film. They're much harder to identify than names in the States; but the ones I've found with their skits and stories preserved on audio--well, they're a hoot. I've always been meaning to follow up on this topic more (that is, whenever I may have more money to spend on obscure CD compilations).

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On 10/8/2018 at 11:52 AM, Sgt_Markoff said:

I love those old British variety theater comedians who crossed over into film. They're much harder to identify than names in the States; but the ones I've found with their skits and stories preserved on audio--well, they're a hoot. I've always been meaning to follow up on this topic more (that is, whenever I may have more money to spend on obscure CD compilations).

Yes, "hoot" is a good word for them. I think there's going to be an evening of George Formby films coming up in the near future on TCM. 

I was reading up on him. He was Britain's most successful star in movies in the late 30s and early 40s. He ended up signing with a Hollywood studio after his contract with a British studio ended, and he took some flak for it. His last seven films were made in England by Columbia Pictures.

Supposedly he had a large gay following which doesn't make sense, because I don't see him really playing to that segment of the audience. His wife was his manager and very controlling; she wouldn't allow him to interact with his attractive female costars unless it was during filming. 

He certainly was very talented. The comedy is rather dated by modern standards but his ukulele playing and banjo playing is classic/timeless.

The one on YouTube I watched yesterday is called MUCH TOO SHY (1942). It was one of the Columbia productions. The supporting cast is wonderful, and the final sequence where George represents himself in court has some inspired screwball dialogue.

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Topbilled mentioned George Formby. I haven't seen his films, but I've listened to his recordings for quite some time. I particularly like "He knew what to do with his gas mask" and the very politically incorrect "Mr. Wu's an air raid warden."

"He'll flash his torch into the dark, and the girls all cover their laundry mark..."

Regarding British comedies, I love most of them, particularly Make Mine Mink and the Carry On films. And I love the Gracie Fields films. TCM need to do a series of them, starting with Sally in Our Alley.

 

 

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As I mentioned earlier, TCM has an upcoming evening of George Formby films. 

These are scheduled to air on the 16th of November:

TROUBLE BREWING (1939)
LET GEORGE DO IT (1940)
KEEP YOUR SEATS, PLEASE! (1936)
NO LIMIT (1935)

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

As I mentioned earlier, TCM has an upcoming evening of George Formby films. 

These are scheduled to air on the 16th of November:

TROUBLE BREWING (1939)
LET GEORGE DO IT (1940)
KEEP YOUR SEATS, PLEASE! (1936)
NO LIMIT (1935)

I hope to be in London on that date but will set the DVR!

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Terrible night on TCM tonight, I am definitely not a fan of the 'Carry on' series.

One flick was fun; I gotta go look it up somehow. George Brent and ...either Priscilla Lane or Phyllis Thaxter in a newspaper room romp

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The one flick I enjoyed last night --a newspaper comedy--turned out to be 'You Can't Escape Forever' (1942). Strange, deceptive title (also a film I haven't seen before, which is always unusual).

Anyway it was fairly amusing even if filled with old 'Front Page' tropes. George Brent was deft. His co-star turned out to be neither Thaxter or Lane but --of all actresses--Brenda Marshall. I haven't seen Miss Marshall in too many pics; and her lips being so similar to the other two lasses, I was gulled. She was certainly sprightly and capable enough.

The cast is full of well-loved Warners stock players but the real foil to Brent is an actor named Charles Halton.

220px-Charles_Halton_in_Nancy_Drew..._Re

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3 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

The one flick I enjoyed last night --a newspaper comedy--turned out to be 'You Can't Escape Forever' (1942). Strange, deceptive title (also a film I haven't seen before, which is always unusual).

Anyway it was fairly amusing even if filled with old 'Front Page' tropes. George Brent was deft. His co-star turned out to be neither Thaxter or Lane but --of all actresses--Brenda Marshall. I haven't seen Miss Marshall in too many pics; and her lips being so similar to the other two lasses, I was gulled. She was certainly sprightly and capable enough.

The cast is full of well-loved Warners stock players but the real foil to Brent is an actor named Charles Halton.

220px-Charles_Halton_in_Nancy_Drew..._Re

Brenda Marshall didn't make too many pictures. Her greatest role was the off camera one she played as Mrs. William Holden.

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