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Old Mother Riley Detective (1943)



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Mrs. Riley is tricked out of her licence for a pub and joins her daughter in Portugal.

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A lonely wife of a workaholic husband on the magical Isle of Capri meets a charming and attractive young man. An exciting affair must end when word gets back to the husband and he becomes ... See full summary »

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Stars: Myrna Loy, Roger Livesey, Peggy Cummins


Complete credited cast:
Arthur Lucan ...
Kitty McShane ...
Ivan Brandt ...
Inspector Victor Cole
Owen Reynolds ...
George Street ...
Inspector Moresby
Johnnie Schofield ...
P.C. Jimmy Green
Hal Gordon ...
Valentine Dunn ...
H.F. Maltby ...
H. G. Popplethwaite
Alfredo Campoli ...
Solo Violinist
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marjorie Rhodes ...


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Release Date:

31 May 1943 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Follows Old Mother Riley's Circus (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

Theater Seat Snuggling
9 June 2006 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

What we have in movies today is a process of complex evolution. If you want to understand movies — a necessary condition for a lucid life, I maintain — you have to get some sort of a handle on that evolution. Many of the forces involved are simple market forces, and those are quite different in the UK compared to the US.

British movies ran longer in theaters and were always double features. One feature was intended to be the real entertainment and the other filler. But filler of a different order than in America.

American filler was meant to engage by continuation mostly. Serials, cartoons and other shorts are more distilled versions of the main fare, and that distillation referenced other movies more overtly than the main fare would. They're interesting even when they seem ordinary and poorly produced.

The British film-goer was a different beast. Americans actually watched, Brits didn't. British shorts were derived from stage acts that served a similar purpose, keeping the stage warm while the audience visited themselves, settled and canoodled.

The less good these are, the more making out you can imagine, so the Mother Riley projects could be responsible for many folks walking around today.

This is the first I've seen. If you don't know them, they feature a father-daughter team. The father is in drag in the person of Mother Riley, creating a caricature of an excitable biddy who jabbers and contorts. The daughter is amazingly unattractive, profoundly. She plays a singer without overt comedy but with as much irony as her dad playing her mom.

Its all horrible. But I think it is engineered to be so. If it were interesting, engaging, actually funny the audience would rebel. The theater experience is about more than good movies, you know. Was, anyway.

This episode has the biddy tracking down thieves stealing wartime food rations ("from children"). Its mildly interesting to imagine a guy pretending to be a woman which adopts the Miss Marple persona and in turn pretends to be something else to solve the case.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

5 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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