On the sidewalks of the London theater district the buskers (street performers) earn enough coins for a cheap room. Charles, who recites dramatic monologues, sees that a young pickpocket, ... See full summary »
Queen Elizabeth is running this show. The men in her court should be thinking about how to add to the glory of the Elizabethan Age and how to foil those pesky Spanish who got far too much ... See full summary »
William K. Howard
After Larry Darrent accidentally kills his lover's blackmailing husband, someone else is arrested for the crime. When he is found guilty, Larry and Wanda have just three weeks together ... See full summary »
Shelby Barrett (Barbara Stanwyck) rides show horses for wealthy widow "Nicko" Nicholas (Genevieve Tobin)and meets Johnny Wyatt (Gene Raymond), scion of a once-wealthy Long Island Family, ... See full summary »
Sir William Hamilton, a widower of mature years, is British ambassador to the Court of Naples. Emma who comes for a visit with her mother wouldn't cut the grade with London society but she ... See full summary »
Frank Burdon is a new reporter on a small-town Scottish paper. He's told to interview local politician William Gow, then left in charge of the paper overnight. He sees Gow being high-handed to a woman who can't afford to license her dog, and decides to run that story instead of the expected puff piece. Both are decent men, but a little too proud to back down, and the battle escalates into a criminal case... but at the same time, Burdon and Gow's daughter Victoria are falling in love. Written by
When Frank uses the embossing machine, he seems to be producing gibberish: we see him selecting the first few letters as PMJG, and just after that he makes a double letter. But when we see the tape, it isn't gibberish and there's no double letter in it. See more »
In keeping with the Scottish setting, the opening credits are shown on various Scottish plaids. See more »
An apparent piece of froth hides a satire of Hitler
Why isn't this excellent comedy better known? More to the point, why is it so consistently misinterpreted? Most commentators view it as an amusing piece of froth about the provost of a small Scottish town (Cecil Parker) ordering that a dog be put down because its owner cannot pay for its licence. There's Vivien Leigh as the provost's daughter and Rex Harrison on top form as the journalist who makes the silly story national news. It's all very funny and delightfully played by all concerned. But underlying this story (adapted from a German play by James Bridie) is a subtle satire of dictatorship as was then current in Germany and Italy. Parker's role is very clearly based on Hitler, a times quite unsettlingly so, and it is in the bold but successfully intermingling of whimsy with dictatorial manners that the film gains its particular power. Cute it may seem to be, but Victor Saville was a wise and quite a subversive soul, and you'll find few other films from this period that so ably blend the dark with the light. Take a look at it again and see what I mean!
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