Keep Fit was produced at a time when Britain had a health problem. Unlike the obesity scares of today poor diet through poverty even malnutrition and rickets were commonplace amongst the working class. The government ran various campaigns throughout the '30's to promote good health and of course applauded the many Fitness Leagues in existence for a lot of people all a bit futile if a loaf of bread was too expensive to buy. When conscription into the armed forces was re-introduced in peacetime 5 months before World War 2 it was partly with an eye to fattening as well as fitting up cannon fodder, as the government had been advised to by their mandarins as early as 1936.
Here we have weedy George wanting to impress the seemingly unattainable Kay Walsh and win her from the attention of the stout Guy Middleton. Two rival newspapers run a publicity campaign based on keeping fit, it's a perfect opportunity to prove who's the fitter: the gormless wimp or the powerful gymnast (or the alluring girlfriend for that matter)! A nice studio-bound atmosphere pervades for the most part, and we're back in the company of some familiar Formby faces and familiar plot. Songs were: Biceps, Muscle And Brawn (in the locker room, a favourite of mine), I Don't Like (by the Thames at Hurley with Walsh), Keep Fit (training in the boxing ring with Hal Gordon). Seven years later and Edmund Breon was well ensconced in Hollywood I wonder if he ever thought of these days with Formby when he was playing next to Edward G. Robinson or Basil Rathbone? Middleton's moustache never looked more bristlier than in here. Favourite bits: giving Breon a close shave; the party for the department store employees, where the shifty Middleton shows his true colours; the nonsensical boxing match showing the power of love.
It's neither his puniest film nor his best by a long way, but still a pleasant ride over familiar ground.
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