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Brandy for the Parson (1952)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Romance | 16 August 1952 (USA)
A young couple get involved with a smuggler.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Lodge ...
Frederick Piper ...
Charles Hawtrey ...
Michael Trubshawe ...
Alfie Bass ...
Wilfrid Caithness ...
Lionel Harris ...
Richard Molinas ...
Reginald Beckwith ...
Stanley Lemin ...
Arthur Wontner ...
Frank Tickle ...
Walter Hodges ...


Bill Harper and Petronilla Brand are a young couple that, through a series of mishaps and accidents, get unintentionally involved in a brandy-smuggling (from France) racket. Because of an accidental sinking of Tony Rackham's boat, Bill and Patricia take him across the Channel on their boat which, to their dismay, is soon filled with several kegs of brandy. It then evolves into a series of intentional and unintentional dodges trying to evade the Customs officials. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 August 1952 (USA)  »

Box Office


£40,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is taken from a line in Rudyard Kipling's poem "A Smuggler's Song". See more »

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User Reviews

Carry on Smuggling
4 February 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I was tempted to give this review the alternative summary heading of "Lights In The Water Again"."Lights" was the pet name given to Charles Herbert Lightoller" ("Titanic's" second officer) by his colleagues.Kenneth More who played this role in the film ended up in the drink in "A Night to Remember"(1958) and here again he ends up there after a holiday couple James Donald/Jean Lodge ram his boat which also sinks.However the overriding theme was a forerunner of "Carry On Films" hence my summary title with a whole lot of improbable characters and situations.In the early post war years Britain was a very grey place in which to live, with food rationing, rigid control of foreign exchange and the excise duties levied on wines & spirits & luxuries bought from the Contintent.

Film makers, being rather romantic people at heart, have their sympathy with the smugglers who were given a rather heroic role.Other reviewers have mentioned "Green Grow the Rushes" & "Whiskey Galore" as two post war films which harped on this theme of romantic smuggling; after all Britain had a mountainous post war debt to repay (mainly to the U.S.A. which was not actually repaid until 1986).UK authorities had draconian laws against excise duty evasion, much to the chagrin of the general public.

The boy who played a cub was "a sixer". I could tell because I was a "seconder" cub in the 1950s."Sixers" had two stars at the front of their cap and led their patrol while "seconders" were deputies of the sixer and had one star there.The older boy scouts also helped to unwittingly transport the illicit cargo on the basis of "Bob-a Job".I kept smiling when Charles Hawtrey appeared as a dim laundry driver and the whole film appeared a softer, low key version of the "Carry On" films.This film predates the first in the series, "Carry On Seargant" (1958) by 6 years.I briefly noticed Wensley Pithey who played Inspector Charlesworth a 1950/60s TV detective.When the circus ponies (used for transporting the brandy)rested in a field there was a musical snippet of "The Post Horn Gallop", but how the principal characters obtained permission from the circus owners of the ponies was never quite revealed.

As usual in a farce about smuggling the authorities are always one step behind the smugglers but as there was also a moral code in films of this vintage, James Donald, Jean Lodge, Charles Hawtrey, Kenneth More and a local farmer have their comeuppance in court.However who paid their court fine was not made clear!I voted 6/10.

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