Willie is a hall porter who is left a fortune but after living it up for a while he returns to his old hotel which is in financial difficulties.



(original story), (screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Frankie Howerd ...
William Darling
Ruby Murray ...
Digby Hatchard
Dorothy Bromiley ...
Rose Blake
Katherine Kath ...
Gordon Harker ...
Reginald Beckwith ...
Herbert Hardcastle
Pierre Dudan ...
Colin Gordon ...
Cecil Flick
Richard Wattis ...
Alfie Bass ...
Miriam Karlin ...
Alice Cann
Willoughby Goddard ...
Aïché Nana ...
Belly Dancer
George Margo ...
Howard Cann


Willie is a hall porter who is left a fortune but after living it up for a while he returns to his old hotel which is in financial difficulties.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

October 1956 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Auringon kosketus  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ruby Murray receives an "introducing" credit. See more »


O'Malley's Tango
Written by Eric Spear
Sung by Ruby Murray
See more »

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User Reviews

A very funny early Frankie Howerd film
25 June 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Frankie Howerd began appearing in feature films in 1954 (THE RUNAWAY BUS), but by 1956 he had this comedy star vehicle, in which he truly shines. Back then, he was far more restrained than he became later. There were not so many oohs nor so much suggestive sexual innuendo as appeared in his later persona. Nor did he 'take over', but instead he played a role in a definable story. This film is extremely amusing, and works very well. It is good to see the excellent Gordon Harker lending his support, though I wished his role had been larger. A young Irish popular singer from Belfast named Ruby Murray, aged 21, is given a role in the film. It is the only film in which she ever appeared. She gets to sing, of course. Her acting is sweetly amateurish, which in my opinion only adds to her elfin charm. Pardon my ignorance of Irish singers of the 1950s, but I plead that one cannot know everything, and hence I have to confess I had never previously heard of her. But it seems that she was 'one of the most successful Irish singers of all time'. Well done, then, she and John MacCormack (a friend of my wife's grandparents). Ireland is 'busting out all over' with talent and always has been, and whether green or orange, they are all very charming, apart from the ones who blow everybody up, that is. (As someone who is both part Irish and part Ulster, I consider myself a potential cross-border phenomenon and wish they would just all learn how to get along and stop causing trouble.) Alfred Shaughnessy, later famous for writing the hit TV series UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS (1971-1975), wrote the story and script for this film, and that helps explain why it is so good. There is plenty of wit, but the story is a satirical one. Frank Howerd plays a hall porter in a swank London hotel (swank for 1956, that is, though we would not call it that now) who inherits a lot of money from an elderly customer of the hotel who had taken a fancy to him. He quits his job and fulfils his dream of going off to the French Riviera to live the life of Riley (there's those Irish again), but finds it dull and empty so that he longs to go back to his old life. He uses what is left of his inherited fortune to buy the hotel where he once worked, but has none left for operations costs. For that, he is dependent upon a favourable investment decision by a group of three hard-nosed Yorkshire businessmen. The film has wonderful opportunities to make fun of the Yorkshiremen, with their clipped accents, bluntness, and naïve susceptibility to being impressed by titles. Frank gets his old chums who had been on the staff of the hotel before it closed to come and work for free while the Yorkshiremen visit, but to dress up in outrageous disguises (he himself masquerades successfully as a duchess!) to try to fool the potential investors into believing that the failed hotel is a centre of high society, patronised by the rich and titled. There are many opportunities for high comedy as the staff rush from room to room changing costumes and wigs, to maintain the fiction. This is all good fun, and will cheer up anybody suffering from a dreary, wet British afternoon.

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