7.2/10
38
4 user 1 critic

Go to Blazes (1942)

| Short, Comedy
Ministry of Information-sponsored comedy short showing wartime audiences how to deal with the threat of incendiary bombs

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Father
Thora Hird ...
Elsie
...
Mother
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Storyline

Will comes home to his two-storey house, to find his daughter Elsie reading some school books. He asks where Mother might be, and finds she's off getting home defence lessons. He's been chosen, he tells Elsie, to deliver a speech on this topic. He starts reciting what he intends to say as we segue into scenes of him reacting to an incendiary that's gone through his roof, coming down somewhere upstairs. Will clumsily gathers up his fire fighting equipment, including a shovel, bucket and water pump, all the while never letting go of a frying pan he's been trying to cook bacon in. He finds it's gone harmlessly into his half-filled bath tub, fizzing out. But another time, one's landed atop the peak of his roof, and is burning away. Will arrives at the top with tools ready, but it bores it's way through to the bed room. He scrambles down to it, but just as he gets there, it's burnt through the floor to the parlour below. Dashing down to face it there, he realises it will elude him once ... Written by WesternOne

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Short | Comedy

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Walter Forde is credited as director, he always denied it. The actual director is thought to be Will Hay or Basil Dearden See more »

Quotes

Father: We'll say, for argument's sake, that an incendiary bomb drops in your kitchen.
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Soundtracks

Three Cockeyed Sailors (1940) (uncredited)
Music by Ernest Irving
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All gone to blazes
1 March 2009 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

This was a short propaganda film financed by the Ministry of Information and filmed at Ealing with Britain's top comedian at the time the peerless Will Hay in a fine cast of three.

It was the height of WW2 - the Nazis were dropping firebombs on suspecting British citizens houses; this was what you were supposed to do in case such an emergency arose in your own household. Although your time for farcical comedy such as displayed here might be limited if you wanted to save your house from being burned down! But people would have got the message better because Hay was one of the instructors: they knew their seedy schoolmaster. Surely the real firebombs would have been more dangerous than the flares on display here though? Skinny Thora Hird played his rather scathing daughter the same as she was to play his scathing secretary in his next film The Black Sheep Of Whitehall, and Muriel George his rather contemptuous wife - was this was what he was fighting for?

It's a war curio, but it tells you more in 8 minutes about ordinary people living under such conditions and keeping their humour than a whole textbook could. If people could have guessed that not only were they fighting for Freedom they were also fighting for the future freedom of Britons to mass murder Britons in the name of God, would humour have deserted them?


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