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My Learned Friend (1943)

 -  Comedy  -  25 October 1943 (UK)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 219 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 6 critic

An insane murderer is on the loose, and gunning for the men who put him away. Will Hay is on the list, and co-opts Claude Hulbert to try and stop him from meeting a grisly end. This black ... See full summary »

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Title: My Learned Friend (1943)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Will Hay ...
William Fitch
Claude Hulbert ...
Claude Babbington
Mervyn Johns ...
Grimshaw
Laurence Hanray ...
Sir Norman
Aubrey Mallalieu ...
Magistrate
Charles Victor ...
'Safety' Wilson
Derna Hazell ...
Gloria
Leslie Harcourt ...
Barman
Eddie Phillips ...
'Basher' Blake
G.H. Mulcaster ...
Dr Scudamore
...
Ferris
Lloyd Pearson ...
Colonel Chudleigh
Gibb McLaughlin ...
Butler
Maudie Edwards ...
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Storyline

An insane murderer is on the loose, and gunning for the men who put him away. Will Hay is on the list, and co-opts Claude Hulbert to try and stop him from meeting a grisly end. This black comedy suggests that, had he lived, Will Hay might have moved on to the darker corners of Ealing comedies such as 'The Ladykillers'. Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ealing

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 October 1943 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Mit liv er i fare  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Safety Last! (1923) See more »

Soundtracks

Boogie Bounce
(uncredited)
from Dead of Night (1945)
Music by Lou Preager
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful black comedy taken at warp speed
3 July 2005 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

My Learned Friend was Will Hay's last great film, imho only surpassed by Oh Mr Porter from 6 years before. As a guide over the years I've seen this one about 9 times and the latter probably over 20 times by now. For a British film made in the War (even though it points out at the beginning it's set Pre-War) there's not a single reference to Hitler & Co. or current politics - most refreshing! That's not to denigrate or lessen the importance of the war against terror, just I'm glad for once it didn't raise a propaganda head in an ordinary comedy.

Mervyn Johns is out to do in all those people who put him behind bars previously by murdering them one by one. Hay is included as he botched up Johns' defence, and eventually Claude Hulbert too by being Hay's cohort in helping try track him down. The gags and set-piece routines flow thick and fast in only 70 minutes and not a second is wasted - even the final moments leave you in suspense..! My favourite bits are in Safety Wilson's dive, much is made of Hulbert's oddness in such an odd place.

Hay's comic timing was impeccable as usual, while Hulbert shone in his finest silly ass performance - what a memorable team they made! Although if Hay had been well enough to continue his film career I wonder if he would have jettisoned Hulbert the same as he did with Marriott and Moffat? The film is a wonder to behold, and an endless wonder to me why it's nearly always ignored.


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