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The Better 'Ole (1926)

Passed | | Comedy, War, Drama | 23 October 1926 (USA)
The adventures of Old Bill and his friends Bert and Alf in the trenches of the first World War.


(as Charles 'Chuck' Reisner)


(by), (by) | 3 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Jack Ackroyd ...
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The adventures of Old Bill and his friends Bert and Alf in the trenches of the first World War.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | War | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 October 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Guerra é um Buraco  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

(music and effects)|


(tinted and toned)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The second filmed version of the hit musical comedy that was originally performed on the London stage, while World War I was still raging, in 1917. It ran for 811 performances. See more »


Pvt. William 'Old Bill' Busby: [Grabs a sword away from Little Alf] Who yuh stickin' - you silly ass!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There was no cast list per se. Some actors were credited by intertitles when they first appeared. Syd Chaplin was credited above the title and his full character name was supplied in an intertitle. See more »


Version of Carry On (1919) See more »

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User Reviews

The Willie and Joe of the First World War
26 May 2014 | by See all my reviews

Although the character of Old Bill and his pal Alf had its origins in the comic strips of Great Britain in doing a bit of research I was surprised to learn that the play on which this film was based was produced by the American actor Charles Coburn. It ran 353 performances and it starred Coburn on Broadway as well during the 1918-19 season. But it came to the screen as a vehicle for Sydney Chaplin, older brother of Charlie Chaplin and a fair comic himself.

Curiously enough one of Charlie's successes was a service comedy set in World War II Shoulder Arms. But in this case the comedy is set in the British army with the British born Sydney Chaplin.

Whatever else Old Bill is, he's a survivor. He and partner Alf played by John Ackroyd are the Willie and Joe of the British Expeditionary Force. The situations these two find themselves could easily be adapted to World War II era service comedies that conceivably would have starred folks like Bob Hope or Danny Kaye.

Briefly put the plot has Old Bill and Alf foiling a major German offensive almost singlehandedly. A remarkable achievement for a pair that make gold bricking an art form.

I'd check out The Better 'Ole to see what a funny guy Charlie's brother could be.

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