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Mr. Chedworth Steps Out (1939)

Mr. Chedworth is an ordinary clerk dominated by his job and wife. One day, he gains more autonomy and confidence when he finds a bag of money, but soon gets wrapped up in a web of misadventure as a result.



(adaptation), (novel)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Raglan ...
Brian Carford
Joan Deering ...
Gwen Chedworth
Rita Pauncefort ...
Julia Chedworth
Jean Hatton ...
Susie Chedworth
Arthur Jacobs
Rodney Jacobs ...
Fred Chedworth
Sidney Wheeler ...
Leon Fencoff
Ron Whelan ...
Benny (as Ronald Whelan)
Leslie Victor ...
Cecil Perry ...
Charmaine Ross ...
Harvey Adams ...
Ben Lewin ...
Barrett Leonard ...
Perse Falkiner


Mr. Chedworth Steps Out tells the story of a mild-mannered clerk continually hounded by his wife and unappreciated at his long-time job. After being laid off, he takes a night watchman's job, where he unexpectedly finds a bagful of money. Unbeknownst to him, the money is counterfeit, and he proceeds to get wrapped up in a series of misadventures that are both funny, dramatic, and suspensful. Also interesting for being the first film of Peter Finch (Network). Written by Mark Toscano <fiddybop@yahoo.com>

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Cecil Kellaway - Fun Favourite of "IT ISN'T DONE" See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama





Release Date:

April 1939 (Australia)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Cecil Kellaway returned to Australia from Hollywood for this movie. See more »

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User Reviews

"Deanna Durbin" Steps Out!
11 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

One of Hall's more accomplished efforts. Gone are all the flashy if pungent wipes so characteristic of Oz movies of the 1930's, but no-one could complain either that the resulting pace is slow or that the movie is not still crammed chock-a-block with action. In fact, some critics actually protested that the movie suffers from too much plot, rather than too little. Though not me! What we have here is a comedy/melodrama that manages to pack in all the domestic by-play of the Charlie Ruggles/Mary Boland comedies; as well as that staple yarn about the little man who innocently uncovers a gang of crooks and counterfeiters; plus that well-worn piece about the innocent who uses "beginner's luck" to win a fortune by gambling; and of course the ultimate domestic triumph of the harried, henpecked, put-upon little worm who finally turns.

In addition, the film carries a number of sub-plots, would you believe? Chief of these is the young, super-attractive Deanna Durbin clone who hasn't enough money to enter a singing contest. Then there's the Peter Finch sub-plot about the gormless adolescent who comes to manhood. (Finch is very effective too, even though he doesn't give a hint of his later screen persona).

Hall's direction is commendably fluid. Production values, including some eye-catching sets, are of a much higher standard than the Cinesound norm. Photography, film editing and music scoring likewise closely approach the standard Hollywood models.

Jean Hatton (who made only three films, of which this is the first) is absolutely superb as the Deanna Durbin songstress/Gloria Jean lookalike. {I'm sorry, Jean. All her life, Miss Hatton resented being labeled as "Australia's Deanna Durbin", but that alas, is an inevitable comparison). In actual fact, Jean's voice (cleverly reserved for the climax — we don't even know if she can really sing until then) is superior to Deanna's, both in range and tonal quality. Even more importantly, the Cinesound recording, in contrast to the somewhat high-pitched Universal offerings, is far more melodious and effective. Take a bow, Clive Cross.

James Raglan plays the sub-hero with his usual strong-handed finesse. Joan Deering (her only movie appearance, this) makes an absolutely entrancing sub-heroine, lustrously photographed in loving close-ups by George Heath.

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