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Time, Gentlemen, Please! (1952)

Approved | | Comedy | 2 September 1953 (USA)
Because of its high productivity and "almost" 100 per cent employment, the village of Little Heyhoe, England is expecting a visit from the Prime Minister. The "almost" is because of Dan ... See full summary »



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


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Byrne ...
Dan Dance
Jane Barrett ...
Bill Jordan
Raymond Lovell ...
Marjorie Rhodes ...
Miss Mouncey
Emma Stebbins
Peggy Stebbins
Alice Crouch
Ivor Barnard ...
Timothy Crouch
Sidney James ...
Eric Hace
Edie Martin ...
Mary Wade
Sydney Tafler ...
Joseph Spink
Joan Young ...
Mrs. Round
Marianne Stone ...
Mrs. Pincer
Patrick McAlinney ...
Rev. Soater


Because of its high productivity and "almost" 100 per cent employment, the village of Little Heyhoe, England is expecting a visit from the Prime Minister. The "almost" is because of Dan Dance (Eddie Byrne), an old rogue who would rather drink and philosophize than work. The Village Council are determined to have a perfect record so they connive to have the old man put into the alms-house which has been unoccupied for many years, where he must abide by rules laid down 400 years ago. A new Vicar arrives and discovers that, because of the circumstances created by the Council, Dan Dance is entitled to 6,000 pounds a year at the expense of the village. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 September 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nothing to Lose  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[Emma Stebbins walks towards the almshouses, wearing a long hooded cloak and carrying a wicker basket]
Mary Wade: Mind you don't meet a big bad wolf!
See more »


Colonel Bogey
Music by Kenneth Alford
Heard when Prime Minister's car arrrives
See more »

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User Reviews

A nearly forgotten masterpiece of British 1950s charm and comedy
27 January 2008 | by (the big screen) – See all my reviews

"Time Gentleman Please!" is honestly as good as Titfield Thunderbolt, Genevieve, or School For Scoundrels, even Whisky Galore. Rarely seen due to copyright and distribution disputes it has finally been released!

The film opens at the Ministry for Productivity and Industry (With Ian Carmichael - who else?), where we discover that Hayhoe, a little village in rural Essex, has 99.9% employment, and will be visited by noneless than the Prime Minister himself.

But this is not the main theme of the piece. We move quickly to the charmingly rural village of Hayhoe itself where the snooty council are discussing what to do about Dan Dance - the local colorful character and vagabond - played by Eddie Bryne in only his fourth film in terms of the upcoming visit. (Bryne went on to have a very long and prolific career and is probably most recognized as General Willard from all three early Star Wars movies.)

To tidy the place up Dan is placed as the sole proprietor of the local alms houses and then discovers.... well, you have to watch as see. the film is about Dan and his wonderful ways.

Fantastic charm to this, not unlike Jacques Tati's "Fête du Jour", the village and villagers, the ones who weren't professional actors, give this a wonderful timeless quality of stepping into a forgotten world. Above all though, it's genuinely funny, and I mean laugh out loud funny

  • great performances, excellent timing throughout, and unbelievably

charming; and one of the best plots in any British comedy: the twists and turns are great; without resorting to mania.

With Sid James, Dora Bryan, and Hermione Baddeley to name just a few you know you're in for a treat - and what a treat - this honestly is one of the best of its genre: a lovely, charming, funny British 1950s comedy, and not a mean word or bone in it a real "U" rated film of the sort that you will just wish they could make today... but how? And you'll wish you could be in the Swan at Hayhoe for a pint.

I've already added it to one of my favourite films of all time - and one of the top five British comedies - in a word: wonderful.

Good luck finding it - it's a travesty that it isn't seen more regularly - but if you're lucky enough to see it - do!

22 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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