A church vicar tries to come up with 1,000 pounds to fix the church's crooked steeple. After a variety of schemes fails to raise the required amount of money, he decides to bet what little ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Nancy Burne ...
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Tony Mardon
Davy Burnaby ...
Sir William Mardon
Mignon O'Doherty ...
Syd Crossley ...
Wilkins
Robert Nainby ...
Bale
John Singer ...
Freddie
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A church vicar tries to come up with 1,000 pounds to fix the church's crooked steeple. After a variety of schemes fails to raise the required amount of money, he decides to bet what little savings he has on Dandy Dick, a nag running at the local racetrack who's a 10-to-1 shot. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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March 1935 (UK)  »

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(Ambiphone Sound System)

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1.37 : 1
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Laurel and Hardy favourite James Finlayson originally appeared as Tom Tiddler, but his scenes were cut prior to release. See more »

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Which half of the racehorse do you own?
23 February 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Dandy Dick stars Will Hay, it is the second, and last of his films, to be based on a play by Arthur Wing Pinero (the first was Those Were the Days). It's also the first of four collaborations between Hay and American director William Beaudine. The plot sees Hay play Reverend. Richard Jedd who lives in the country with his daughter and grandson and discovers that his sister has a half share in a racehorse. Thus, with his church spire in desperate need of funds to correct its crookedness, he contemplates putting aside his principles and gambling on the sure fire horse known as Dandy Dick. However, a doping scandal threatens to not only usurp the plan, but to also land Richard in prison.

It's true to an extent to say that Dandy Dick is a film of major interest to Will Hay completists. It's also fair enough to state that it serves as an interesting reference {starting} point to the roles that would shape Hay's career. For here as the Reverend it's the start of the run of what would encompass the quintessential Hay character, that of a person in a position of responsibility who should be leading by example. Yet with a mixture of cunning and lucky buffoonery, Hay's characters bluff their way thru a number of escapades and hardly show to be pillars of the community. To which the comedy quotient is often high. Dandy Dick, however, is short on genuine funny moments, but thankfully what ones do exist, do in fact make the film well worth watching. So for although the support of Hay is thin on the ground, and the whole picture is a touch too episodic, sequences involving parachuting and a fire at the stables more than make this an enjoyable Will Hay picture.

The role of Reverend. Jedd would be played on the stage 38 years later by another titan of British classic cinema, Alistair Sim. This is of no surprise because the Pinero source gives scope for great character actors to provide great comedy characterisations. Something that Hay most assuredly does in Dandy Dick. Without him the film would be an unmitigated flop; in fact a running comedy thread about Robert Naimby's deaf Mr Bale is a Hay contribution to the script. Hay was already established as a vaudeville artist, he now took the first steps to becoming a fully fledged British cinematic legend. And with a little cameo from Moore Marriott tucked into the piece, one has to smile when you consider that Hay and Marriott at that time had no idea that they would in two years time, form two-thirds of the funniest comedy team to come out of classic British cinema. Essential Hay movie in regards to his career, but one that is never close to touching the greatness of the more regarded pictures that followed it. 6.5/10


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