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Helter Skelter (1949)

A radio 'detective' gets involved with a wealthy socialite who can't seem to stop hiccuping due to the machinations of a ghostly cupid who works his magic to cause mayhem and laughter throughout the film.



(additional dialogue), | 1 more credit »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Carol Marsh ...
Susan Graham
Nick Martin
Mervyn Johns ...
Ernest Bennett
Peter Hammond ...
Spencer Stone
Richard Hearne ...
Peter Haddon ...
Major Basil Beagle
Geoffrey Sumner ...
Humphrey Beagle
Headwaiter / Charles II
Jimmy Edwards ...
Dr. Edwards
Chadbeater Longwick
Mrs. Martin
Edmund Willard ...
Robert Lamouret ...
The 'Duck' Man


This is the ultimate screwball comedy, its weird, but endearing. An heiress who is being courted by two gentlemen develops incurable hiccups after watching a comedic dinner-theater performance. Through a series of events she meets the shy star of a radio detective show [David Tomlinson] who is attracted by the fact that she isn't a fan-girl; however his attempts at courting are cut short by his overprotective mother. A series of attempts to cure her condition including watching a silent film sketch ultimately result in a visit to a haunted house where further hijinks ensue.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

25 July 1949 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Robert Lamouret is credited "with acknowledgments to Donald Duck". See more »


Terry-Thomas: So sorry listeners for the delay but I've just discovered a slight technical hitch...
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References Miranda (1948) See more »


I'm All Yours
Music by George Windeatt
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User Reviews

Farcical BBC based comedy in the 'pre-python' age of innocence.
13 December 2001 | by (Hertfordshire, England) – See all my reviews

I watched Helter Skelter about 30 years ago at the time when Monty Python was in its first series. Helter Skelter is equally amusing, but in an innocent way that I suppose would now be sneered at! Interesting at the time though to compare it with 'Python'. I recall that the plot centres around a 'hooray henry' character who for some reason cannot stop the 'hiccups'. His girlfriend (can't remember the actress's name) tries to find a cure or solution. No complications in the plot! The movie is filmed extensively inside the BBC in what I assume must be the building in Great Portland Street. Some of the scenes are extremely funny but generally the comedy is rather dated, still enjoyable though.

I recall one of the characters (I think maybe the leading lady's aunt) portrays a typical British girls public school sports mistress. Again I cannot recall the actress's name, but she is easily the funniest character in the movie. An enormous lady, who rides around on a tiny motor scooter, bizarre! Very funny though, and her best line is in recommending a psychiatrist to cure the hooray's hiccups because "he cured me completely of collecting hockey sticks". Terry-Thomas is also very funny, playing a pre-pop disk jockey who smashes all his records and is forced to impersonate the various acts.

As mentioned, the comedy would now be considered dated, but this zany movie has stuck in my memory since 1970 and I wish I could get to see it again.

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