Before this viewing the only exposure I'd ever had to this long-running British MOTHER RILEY series had been 1952's MOTHER RILEY MEETS THE VAMPIRE (known in the US as MY SON, THE VAMPIRE). Well, that movie co-starred horror legend Bela Lugosi and now seems like a cinematic classic compared to this one. I had toyed with the idea of going through the whole catalogue of Mother Riley adventures, but after seeing two of them I think I'm pretty content to draw the line there. For those who don't know, the character of old hag Mother Riley was played by Irish comedian Arthur Lucan in drag. He had a long-standing act with his wife Kitty McShane, who joins him in his routine as Mother Riley's daughter(!), and it's a very odd thing to watch when you realize this. Apparently this series went on for over a dozen movies and was very popular in England, don't ask me how. In HEADMISTRESS, Old Mother Riley starts out working and blundering customers' orders at a laundromat. Then she winds up owning the establishment through a strange twist of fate, and then becomes the headmistress of an all-girls' finishing school. Despite Lucan's wild and frantic efforts in the old lady get-up, there is nothing funny here and it's quite difficult to decipher what she's saying through her heavy accent. * out of ****
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