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Old Bill and Son (1941)

 -  Comedy  -  1 March 1941 (UK)
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(screenplay) (as Captain Bruce Bairnsfather) , (story), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview:
Morland Graham ...
Old Bill
Young Bill Busby
Mary Clare ...
Renee Houston ...
Stella Malloy
René Ray ...
Sally (as Rene Ray)
Gus McNaughton ...
Ronald Shiner ...
Manning Whiley ...
Janine Darcey ...
Roland Culver ...
Donald Stuart ...
Nicholas Phipps ...
BBC Reporter
Allan Jeayes ...


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Release Date:

1 March 1941 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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The Smile I Left Behind Me
Written by Vivian Ellis
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User Reviews

12 production stills and a novelisation.
7 November 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A film that once did its bit in cheering up a Britain at war, it is unlikely to have them rolling in the aisles at the multiplex. This is not to say that it couldn't still raise a few laughs, if it was ever shown again.

From what I have read of the contemporary novelisation, and seen of the 12 production stills included in that volume - which appears to be a very faithful adaptation - , it is a jolly effort all round, and might well appeal to anyone who enjoys 'Dad's Army'. Perhaps a television audience would appreciate its quaint charms.

Certainly, it is redolent of its era. Old Bill reminds one of an elderly if slightly dotty relative, whom we should be more sorry than we are to see shuffle off into oblivion. I would go so far as to say that we would be altogether nicer and more interesting people if we made the past generations more welcome at our flickering electronic hearth. But I suppose someone over fifty would be prone to such opinions. The under-forties probably find such ordinary old films too creepily remote from the common light of current fashion for comfortable viewing. There is, truly, nothing more disturbing than being forced to observe the precursors of your own flimsy wisps of existence in that dusty shaft of relentless ephemerality!

But for all those out there who habitually prowl the graveyards of long-forgotten tears and laughter, illuminated by the unnatural light of other days, you might try second-hand booksellers for the next-best thing to seeing the film itself:

Old Bill & son : the story of the film /by Bruce Bairnsfather and Ian Dalrymple. - London : Hutchinson & Co., [1941]

4 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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