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Those Were the Days (1934)

 |  Comedy  |  April 1934 (UK)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 57 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 2 critic

A farce based on Arthur Wing Pinero's play 'The Magistrate' in which the son (John Mills) of a stern magistrate (Will Hay) visits a music hall against the wishes of his father. In true ... See full summary »

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Title: Those Were the Days (1934)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Will Hay ...
Iris Hoey ...
...
Claud Allister ...
George Graves ...
...
Jane Carr ...
Marguerite Allan ...
Eve Douglas
H.F. Maltby ...
Laurence Hanray ...
Syd Crossley ...
Wally Patch ...
Insp. Briggs (as Walter Patch)
Jimmy Godden ...
Pat Maloney
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Bedford ...
Himself
Lily Morris ...
Herself
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Storyline

A farce based on Arthur Wing Pinero's play 'The Magistrate' in which the son (John Mills) of a stern magistrate (Will Hay) visits a music hall against the wishes of his father. In true farcical style, the magistrate too ends up at the music hall, and before long all the characters are trying not to avoid each other... Mainly notable (a) because of its depiction of the music hall as seen by a generation which knew it intimately (b) because of its use of music hall acts of the time and (c) because it gave Will Hay his first film role. Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

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based on play | See All (1) »

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Comedy

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Release Date:

April 1934 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Soundtracks

Knightsbridge (March)
(uncredited)
Composed by Eric Coates
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User Reviews

 
The Good Old Days
29 October 2006 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

This is a history capsule not only of Victorian times but the 1930's too. Pinero wrote his play The Magistrate in 1885 which can wreak havoc with the extraneous musical chronology if you're bothered - for example Two Lovely Black Eyes was first performed in May 1886. Not been on the TV for decades now (I last saw it in 1984) - I wonder if it's because of the 3 minute black-face minstrel number that UK TV has banned it?

The plot involves a farcical situation between judge Hay and his young stepson Mills and Hay's straitlaced wife and sister (and her beau) that develops at an insalubrious Music Hall. "Walter" Patch as Inspector Briggs had some good lines, and even 16 year old Jimmy Hanley came in near the end. All of which is overshadowed for me by the actual turns themselves, Lily Morris and Harry Bedford in particular. Although she was 50 and the glory days were long behind she had another 18 years to go treading the boards. It's a wonderful glimpse into a form of entertainment that started to disappear during World War 1, this film was really only made for elderly and nostalgic cinema patrons but thank Heavens! Favourite bits: I'll be your sweetheart; When I take my morning promenade; A little bit off the top; Lily of Laguna - inviting the cinema audience to sing along, same as Nellie Dean in King Of Jazz; the Little Tich impersonator; Follow the van.

Marvellous stuff if you like British Music Hall, not much here for you if you don't.


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