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To Hell with Hitler (1940)

Let George Do It! (original title)
Unrated | | Comedy, Musical, War | 13 October 1940 (USA)
Shortly after the start of World War II, a ukelele player (George) takes the wrong boat and finds himself in (still uninvaded) Norway. He is mistaken for a fellow British intelligence agent... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(original screen play) (as Angus Macphail), (original screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Phyllis Calvert ...
Mary Wilson
Garry Marsh ...
Mendez
Romney Brent ...
Slim Selwyn
...
Oscar
Coral Browne ...
Iris
Helena Pickard ...
Oscar's Wife
Percy Walsh ...
Schwartz - Spy Chieftain
...
Greta - Hotel Receptionist
...
U-Boat Commander
Donald Calthrop ...
Frederick Strickland
Hal Gordon ...
Alf Arbuckle - Dinky Do
Johnnie Schofield ...
Solicitous Steward (as Johnny Schofield)
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Storyline

Shortly after the start of World War II, a ukelele player (George) takes the wrong boat and finds himself in (still uninvaded) Norway. He is mistaken for a fellow British intelligence agent by a woman (Mary), and becomes involved in trying to defeat Nazi agents. Written by Philip Apps <apps@math.wisc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They All Cheered When George Socked Hitler on the Chin! (Too Bad It Was Only a Dream) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 October 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

To Hell with Hitler  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The greater part of this story takes place in Norway ........ ......... before the war spread See more »

Connections

Featured in Frank Skinner on George Formby (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh, Don't the Wind Blow Cold
(uncredited)
Written by George Formby, Harry Gifford & Fred E. Cliffe
Performed by George Formby
See more »

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User Reviews

 
LET GEORGE DO IT! (Marcel Varnel, 1940) ***
18 March 2009 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Until now, I had only been familiar with British comedian George Formby via a long-ago Italian TV viewing of IT'S IN THE AIR (1938); having recently acquired his entire output on 6 DVDs, I opted to get to know him all over again by way of that vehicle generally considered to be his best. While it is not exactly side-splitting and the star himself a simpleton in the vein of the later Norman Wisdom (though not as raucous or sentimental), the film nevertheless manages to elicit considerable excitement and suspense – a' la Alfred Hitchcock's seminal British thrillers of the 1930s – from its WWII espionage plot; with this in mind, the end result compares favorably with the equivalent Hollywood product. Incidentally, this was a milieu in which virtually all comedians would operate at one time or another: in the case of Britain, we not only got Formby contemporaries such as The Crazy Gang's GASBAGS (1941) and Will Hay's THE GOOSE STEPS OUT (1942) but Wisdom himself, whose most satisfying effort for me personally was THE SQUARE PEG (1958). Of course, Formby was equally well-known for his amiable ukulele-playing (showcased here in a number of passable songs); typical of this kind of film, then, his character is mistaken for a spy (by both sides) but invariably proves his mettle and eventually foils the villains (with the help of a pretty heroine). The latter is played by Phyllis Calvert, while a very young Coral Browne is the obligatory femme fatale; also in the cast are Bernard Lee as the male member of a couple whom George is forever running into, causing no end of trouble in the process, and Torin Thatcher as the captain of the U-boat on which George finally stows away (and is shot out of like a torpedo!). As I said, the film is filled with several tried-and-true, yet wholly delightful, thriller elements: coded messages passed via musical notes, the murder during a recital, and the climactic race-against-time to avert a disaster at sea. To get back to the star's comedy routines, the scene inside the bakery is a bit labored but the dream sequence – culminating with George parachuting into Germany, disrupting a Nazi rally and beating up the Fuehrer! – is truly inspired (for the record, the script was co-written by distinguished future director Basil Dearden).


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