For those UK viewers who saw "Opportunity Knocks", (an amateur performing talent show seen on TV in the 1960s), this film will have a humorous resonance.Hughie Green (HG), (loosely disguised as "Hughie Hawkins"), is a working class lad who lives with his parents in the poorer part of Wapping (an area of east London by the docks).You must first suspend any belief in logic before you watch this film.For example Hughie is apparently working on the dockside for 30 shillings a week (in modern money £1.50) loading/unloading cargo where the "Queen Mary" is moored.In fact it would have been impossible for such a huge liner to navigate up the Thames as Southampton was her usual home port.As is usual in this type of vintage film, the actors are far older than their characters, thus we are led to believe Hughie is only 17 (but he looks well into his 20s).Likewise Margaret Lockwood (ML) was actually 21 in 1937 but is here playing a teenager (Margaret Williams), a friend of Hughie.They are both trying to break into show business, HG succeeds but ML fails her audition.In addition the gang of working class Wapping friends Hughie plays with are all precociously talented at music, singing, dancing etc.One friend "Joey" had an India rubber type face much like a younger version of the actor Joe E Brown who played the Florida millionaire who fancies Jack Lemmon in "Some Like It Hot" (1959) and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1935).You will also see an early appearance of Charles Hawtrey about the time he appeared in some Will Hay comic films.
Alistair Sim was likewise too young to be ML's father (being born in 1900 and only 16 years older than ML) but with makeup he gets away with the part of the "dotty" anthropologist, Professor Williams.There was a touch of Veree Teasdale in Jane Carr's performance as Kay Williams, (ML's older sister).Kay has separated from "Warwick Mortimer" (Garry Marsh) who is a showbiz agent.
Kay initially tries to separate ML from HG as they are too young for marriage but after HG rescues ML from the Crystal Palace fire of 1936 on Sydenham Hill, (use of actual newsreels), she warms more to him especially when she realises he will have a lucrative career as a bandmaster.Kay's reward for this volte face is to be reunited and marry with her show-biz agent, ex-fiancé Garry Marsh.They both agree ML can wed HG when HG becomes 18, (which in my opinion is still too young).It's a light bit of fluff and fun and amusing to see the embryonic talent of Hughie Green.
Overall I enjoyed the film and rated it 6/10 and it was an honour to be the first user comment for this film on IMDb.com.
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