7.7/10
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Ask a Policeman (1939)

The mirthful adventures of Police-Sergeant Samuel Dudfoot and his two constables, Albert Brown and Jeremiah Harbottle, who stage a fabricated crime-wave to save their jobs---and then find themselves involved in the real thing.

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(story) (as Sidney Gilliatt), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Graham Moffatt ...
...
Glennis Lorimer ...
Peter Gawthorne ...
...
The Squire
Herbert Lomas ...
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Storyline

Turnbottom Round prides itself as the village without crime; there has not been an arrest recorded by the local police for years. Unfortunately, this is more to do with the inability of Sgt Dudfoot and his constables Jerry and Harbottle to so much as recognise a crime. With their jobs on the line, the trio attempt to stage a crime of their own, only to inadvertently uncover a smuggling ring and a headless horseman... Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

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Details

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Release Date:

29 August 1939 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(British Acoustic) (uncredited)| (recorded on Full-Range Recording at Islington, London)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Cyril Chamberlain. See more »

Goofs

When the garage door opens 'spontaneously' the wire used to pull it open is visible. See more »

Quotes

Sergeant Samuel Dudfoot: [Dudfoot and his two constables have made an arrest] Did you search him?
Constable Albert Brown: One pocket book, one watch, one pen-knife and no money.
Sergeant Samuel Dudfoot: One pen-knife and no what?
Constable Albert Brown: No money.
Sergeant Samuel Dudfoot: Come on, turn out your pockets.
Constable Albert Brown: Oh, alright. One pen-knife and fifteen bob.
Sergeant Samuel Dudfoot: Blimey! Will you never learn to be honest? He's as much our prisoner as he is yours... Here you are, five bob each.
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Connections

Referenced in Sleepy Hollow (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Polieceman's Holiday
(uncredited)
Music by Montague Ewing
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User Reviews

 
Great replay
20 June 2004 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

Ask a policeman has always suffered from close comparison with Oh, Mr. Porter! and is therefore (unfairly) usually considered an inferior film. On its own it would stand up very well, with plenty of gags to the minute and set-pieces all working throughout, but because the plot was a retread from the previous classic it tends to be forgotten. And it's a pretty direct lifting at times, too! However, the gags do work and are different to reflect the slightly different situations the characters find themselves in and this alone can sustain the interest.

Instead of being railway employees at a lonely railway station up against smugglers this time they're police officers at a lonely police station up against smugglers.

In other words it's a beautiful re-run of OMP, but after watching it you can still think of just how inventive Val Guest, Marriott Edgar and Sidney Gilliat were in the screenplay, just how versatile Hay, Moffat and Marriott were in their portrayals of the Superior, Albert and Jerry and what a marvellous bookend this is for Oh, Mr.Porter!


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