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The Private Secretary (1935)

A timid and dim-witted clergyman is duped into helping a playboy avoid his creditors, inherit his uncle's fortune and get the girl.



(adaptation), (play) (as Sir Charles Hawtrey) | 2 more credits »


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Credited cast:
Rev. Robert Spalding
Barry MacKay ...
Douglas Cattermole
Judy Gunn ...
Edith Marsland
Oscar Asche ...
Robert Cattermole
Sydney Fairbrother ...
Miss Ashford
Henry Marsland
Mr. Nebulae
O.B. Clarence ...
Thomas Marsland
Davina Craig ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:


A timid and dim-witted clergyman is duped into helping a playboy avoid his creditors, inherit his uncle's fortune and get the girl.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »







Release Date:

September 1935 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Visatone Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast. See more »

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User Reviews

Almost every identity mistaken
16 December 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A very minor quota quickie from Julius Hagen, but a pleasure to watch, with some very good performances and laugh-out-loud moments. The plot, such as it is, requires practically everyone in the film to be mistaken for someone else, and although most of the situations are somewhat telegraphed and barely plausible - and the ending of the film is hardly in doubt - it is great fun to watch them all unfold.

The most bizarre aspect of the film is the appearance of Edward Everett Horton as the eponymous secretary - this only a few weeks after making Top Hat with Fred and Ginger. What possessed him? He turns in a typical performance, but large chunks of the film consist purely of location footage of the great man doing some comedy confusion and pratfalls, in London (fascinating for the social historians among us) and the country. One can only imagine how the film was made - did the solo footage come later, to pad the film out? Or beforehand? Star performance is that of Oscar Asche as the portly rich uncle back from India. But also worthy of note is an early performance by Alastair Sim as a fake spiritualist, his trademark lugubriousness already in place.

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