A rare chance to see popular British comedy star of the 1930s, Leslie Fuller, more or less forgotten ever since. A big beefy Londoner, who usually played a jovial character called Bill, he seems very much in the style of his near contemporary Victor McLaglen. Though something of a good-natured dimwit, Bill can look after himself, as an oily villain of the kind who used to run rings around George Formby discovers when trying to involve him in gun-running, only to be on the receiving end of a right-hander.
Fuller's material here though is very thin, much of it of the falling or being thrown into the river sort of thing. The plot, such as it is, only commences after around forty minutes of tediously unfunny business, including an engagement ring dropped overboard and a long scene with Bill's barge on fire, an incident entirely devoid of comic timing or any humour at all. D.J. Williams, a noted character star of the day is wasted as Bill's lugubrious sidekick, while another stooge, Hal Gordon, as Bill's unlikely rival for the much younger Judy Kelly, has an ongoing brawl with the star that punctuates most of the picture to little comic effect. Comedy can date more than other genres, but it's difficult to see how much of this could have raised many laughs back in 1935. At least the film has been well preserved, the photography is good and the print is sharp, and there's certainly curiosity value.
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