For those of you blissfully unaware of Old Mother Riley, she was played by Arthur Lucan, a Lancashire lad who impersonated an elderly Irish woman in various situations. With her daughter (played by Kitty McShane, Lucan's wife), the only comparison would be with Tyler Perry's Madea series -- if Madea were played by Pauly Shore pretending to be Stepin Fetchit. The emphasis was on rough slapstick and various stock Irishisms. Lucan made seventeen movies as the character. They were enormously popular in Britain, before he collapsed on stage, died, and spared the movie-going public further episodes.
In this one, one of the earliest contemporary war comedies, Kitty has just been certified as a doctor. She is attached to the army, and her mother joins up too, as a nurse. There is also a plot to this one, involving spies trying to steal plans for a new gun from its manufacturer, who are thwarted by Lucan in his sleep. While Lucan is a fair pratfall taker, the screeching stage Irish voice he affects, and the frantic, unfunny direction by Quota Quickie specialist Maclean Rogers, make this a comedy that is a trial to watch.
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