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Spare a Copper (1940)

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A brave wartime copper (policeman) becomes a hero when he thwarts a plot to destroy a battleship. But then the rest of the police get the idea that he is one of the enemy agents.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Formby ...
George Carter
Dorothy Hyson ...
Jane Gray
John Warwick ...
Warburton Gamble ...
Sir Robert Dyer
John Turnbull ...
Inspector Richards
George Merritt ...
Edward Brewster
Eliot Makeham ...
Ellen Pollock ...
Lady Hardstaff
Edward Lexy ...
Night watchman
Jack Melford ...
Hal Gordon ...
Jimmy Godden ...
Grace Arnold ...
Music shop customer
Charles Carson ...


A brave wartime copper (policeman) becomes a hero when he thwarts a plot to destroy a battleship. But then the rest of the police get the idea that he is one of the enemy agents. Written by Steve Crook <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Our George in the force. See more »


Comedy | Musical


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Release Date:

30 August 1941 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Akta're för polisen  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On The Beat
Written by Roger MacDougall
Performed by George Formby
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent vintage British comedy
17 March 2007 | by (Ile-de-France / Paris Region, France) – See all my reviews

George Formby dates from the era when they knew how to make good comedies in England - a Northern England equivalent of Norman Wisdom in the Southern UK, of Fernandel or Bourvil in France or even Danny Kaye in the USA. The strength of this type of comedy inevitably involves a central character who initially appears stupid, simple and gullible but who ends up being less silly than appears and who generally has the last laugh in the film. I adore this sort of comedy as personnified in films such as The Court Jester, Knock on Wood, Man of The Moment, Trouble in Store, Up in the World, Le Schpountz or La Grande Vadrouille. George Formby is also well known for his Ukelele work and has a wide mouth with plenty of big teeth, just like Fernandel in France. In this particular film ( which resembles many of the Norman Wisdom ones - hardly a surprise since the director is the same old John Paddy Carstairs ) Formby is trying to get into the police "Flying Squad" and unwittingly uncovers a sinister internal plot to blow up a ship on the day of its launching. There are some excellent comedical gags and female support from Jane Grey, all this topped with a superb "ee-by-gum" accent. The film has a feel good effect and Formby comes over as a lovable character, especially when he is playing the UKelele. I had begun to despair that any of his films would be available on DVD ( Many of Norman Wisdom's and Fernandel's films have been edited in this medium but surprisingly hardly any from Danny Kaye ) but I have just noticed that ten or so of Formby's will be issued in May 2007 ( in the United Kingdom ) on two boxed sets. One of Formby's most enjoyable tunes was "When I'm cleaning Windows".

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