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A French sleeping-car attending with an eye for the ladies hooks up with a wealthy widow and they get married. What he doesn't know is that she married him because she wants to stay in France. Complications ensue.
I just saw this in the basement of the British Film Institute in London, and it is indeed a lost cultural treasure. Diminutive comedian Lupino Lane recreates his stage rôle of Bill Snibson with pert Sally Gray as his Sally. In the scene where humble cockney Lane tries to move about in his voluminous House of Lords' robe with train, he makes it a living thing. He gets more out of 14 yards of velvet than Fred ever got out of Ginger (and that's saying something!) Only two songs from the original stage production are sung: "Lambeth Walk" and "Me and My Girl," but other songs lurk intriguingly as background music. The BFI print has French subtitles, many capturing the puns of the original. For example, in English--
Hostess: "I'd like you to meet Mr. & Mrs. Leer."
Bill: "I know your relatives, the Chandles."
In French subtitles--
Hostess: "I'd like you to meet Mr. & Mrs. Lyre." (also pronounced "leer")
Bill: "I know your relatives, the Harps."
Peers and cockneys dancing "The Lambeth Walk" together in finale could have been more excitingly photographed -- but Lupino Lane proves himself an unsung National Treasure!
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