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Charley's Aunt (1941)

 -  Comedy | Romance  -  1 August 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 326 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 2 critic

In 1890, two students at Oxford force their rascally friend and fellow student to pose as an aunt from Brazil--where the nuts come from.



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Title: Charley's Aunt (1941)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Ellison ...
Laird Cregar ...
Arleen Whelan ...
Ernest Cossart ...
Morton Lowry ...
Harley Stafford
Will Stanton ...
Lionel Pape ...
Hilary Babberly
C. Montague Shaw ...
Elderly Professor
Maurice Cass ...
Octogenarian Professor


Charley Wyckham and Jack Chesney pressure fellow student Fancourt Babberly to pose as Charley's Brazilian Aunt Donna Lucia. Their purpose is to have a chaperone for their amorous visits with Amy and Kitty, niece and ward of crusty Stephen Spettigue. Complications begin when Fancourt, in drag, becomes the love object of old Spettigue and Sir Francis Chesney. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THE GREATEST COMEDIAN OF OUR Brandon Thomas' Immortal Comedy!


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 August 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charley's Aunt  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Somewhat a landmark film for 20th Century-Fox, as it was the first film they offered the exhibitors under the recently-established terms of the consent decree, conditions that no longer allowed a film studio or company to force the exhibitors to book a large block of films from the same company in order to get any film from that company in a production season. They could still require the exhibitor to make bookings in blocks of five, and "Charley's Aunt" was the first of the five offered. The other four could have been turkeys, but they had to be booked in order to get "Charley's Aunt." See more »


(at around 15 mins) Babberley puts his hat on the chair to the right of the door as he enters Jack's room. After hiding the stolen champagne in a case and making for the door he is met by Jack and Charley. When Jack puts his own hat on the same chair there is no sign of Babberley's. See more »


[first lines]
Student: Good afternoon, Mr. Redcliff.
See more »


Version of Charleys Tante (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

Mildly entertaining
11 April 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

A couple reviewers have commented that this film is not available, though it is now available on DVD. Unfortunately, some of Jack Benny's other films (such as THE MEANEST MAN IN THE WORLD) are not.

Jack Benny plays perhaps the oldest college student ever filmed. At 47 years of age, casting this comedian seemed like an awfully big stretch. Through a series of mistakes, Benny pretends to be a rich widow in order to avoid being kicked out of college. Unfortunately, this ruse snowballs when two men fall for "her" and the real lady widow appears on the scene!

CHARLEY'S AUNT is a film that is based on a play produced in 1892 and has been filmed on several occasions. This is the second American sound version and it is quite polished and clever (with an excellent supporting cast)--though the film also shows a bit of its age. While funny, it also seemed rather old fashioned and familiar--perhaps too familiar--with much similarity to many other films involving a man dressing up as a lady. Perhaps in 1941 it was a hit, but today it just seemed very reminiscent of too many other films, such as SOME LIKE IT HOT and TOOTSIE--both of which are better films. One of the main reasons is not just the script but Benny seemed miscast due to his age AND he just didn't look or sound like a lady. Dustin Hoffman and Jack Lemmon definitely seemed more suited for their parts.

Still, despite these shortcomings, it's a pleasant time-passer and a film that is hard to hate.

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