6.9/10
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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 »

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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:

The hilarious adventures of the Lancashire Lad...he becomes a spy - by mistake...has a beautiful Mystery Girl thrown in his lap...captures a U-Boat - by accident! 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
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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

Count Your Blessings and Smile
(uncredited)
Written by George Formby, Harry Gifford & Fred E. Cliffe
Performed by George Formby
See more »

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User Reviews

 
George Formby's funniest film
10 March 2002 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

In wartime England, the #1 box-office attraction was George Formby, a chirpy little comedian with a Lancashire accent who sang comic songs while strumming his "banjolele" (a ukelele-sized banjo). His screen character was a virginal simpleton who always caused disasters (through his own incompetence) and then solved them through sheer dumb luck. At the end of each movie, George always got the girl ... but he never kissed her, since his real-life wife Beryl was usually present on the movie set to make sure that no hanky-panky transpired.

"Let George Do It" is Formby's funniest film. He portrays a banjo-player who stumbles into a wartime espionage plot. There's some genuine suspense when the bad guys show up during his nightclub act, planning to murder George ... who (as always) is blissfully unaware of the danger he's in.

Formby's songs often featured double-entendre humour, just slightly smutty. In this film, he sings two of his best songs: "Count Your Blessings and Smile" and "Mister Wu's a Window-Washer Now".

There's a Hitchcock-like plot line, with plenty of action. In one scene, a U-boat full of Nazis rolls over and over underwater, and the film crew came up with a clever way to create this effect convincingly on a low budget. Compare this scene to a similar scene in Frank Capra's "State of the Union", in which Van Johnson is aboard a plane that's rolling in midair. The Capra film had a much larger budget, yet the effect looks completely fake.

Some of the wartime jokes in "Let George Do It" will escape Americans, such as the gag about Lord Haw-Haw. (The G.I.s in the Pacific had Tokyo Rose; the British soldiers in wartime Europe had to deal with Lord Haw-Haw.) There's also a joke about Formby's hometown Wigan. In the same way that Jack Benny (from Waukegan) and Lou Costello (from Paterson, New Jersey) often worked their hometowns into their material, George Formby never forgot his Wigan roots. "Let George Do It" features lots of slapstick comedy and some excellent songs; you'll enjoy it. I rate this film 8 out of 10. Turned out nice again!


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