"What this movie badly needs," I remarked to a colleague in the preview theatre, "are some nice girls!" And, to my surprise, shortly after, producer Harry Reynolds obliged. Following bright sequences with a girl band, a moving piano and an animated bust, came a delightful PT lesson with Pat Owens and her companions in short shorts, plus some ingenious trick effects (although the best is left for the finale when the laundry is miraculously turned into a railway station)! By the humble standards of this series, the sets are remarkably large. And they are populated by numerous extras too. Alas, the script is worse than usual, with some of the weakest puns ever, although it does offer less scope for Miss McShane (which is a blessing). In fact, her perennial boyfriend, Willer Neal, is simply allowed to disappear -- a quite unaccountable action from a continuity point of view. Presumably his later scenes where he tells Kitty the truth were mercifully left on the cutting-room floor. Even as is, the screenplay, for the most part, just isn't funny; while John Harlow's direction is as dull as his additional scenes and as flat as Jimmy Wilson's photography. Incidentally, once he'd formulated his Old Mother character, Arthur Lucan never appeared on stage without make-up, but he did make one movie, namely "Old Mother Riley's Ghosts" (1941), in which he also played the crook who disguises himself as OMR! Getting back to "Headmistress", Jimmy Wilson's camera operator was Ken Talbot; Douglas Myers was associate producer as well as supervising film editor; production manager was Stanley Couzins; make-up was in the hands of Henry Hayward and Marjorie Green; and Fred Turtle recorded the RCA sound track. Music is billed simply to "The Melachrino Organisation". Grand National state the footage as 6,786 feet (which I calculate is 75 minutes).
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?