10 user 3 critic

Elstree Calling (1930)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical | 29 September 1930 (UK)
A series of nineteen musical and comedy "vaudeville" sketches presented in the form of a live broadcast hosted by Tommy Handley (as himself). There are two "running gags" which connect the ... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
Tommy Handley Tommy Handley ... Himself, Compere
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gordon Begg Gordon Begg ... Shakespeare
Teddy Brown Teddy Brown ... Himself
Helen Burnell Helen Burnell
Donald Calthrop ... Himself / Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew
The Charlot Girls The Charlot Girls
Bobbie Comber Bobbie Comber ... (as Bobby Comber)
Cicely Courtneidge Cicely Courtneidge ... Herself
Will Fyffe ... Himself
Lawrence Green Lawrence Green
Gordon Harker ... George
Jack Hulbert ... Himself
Hannah Jones ... George's Wife
John Longden
Ivor McLaren Ivor McLaren


A series of nineteen musical and comedy "vaudeville" sketches presented in the form of a live broadcast hosted by Tommy Handley (as himself). There are two "running gags" which connect the sketches. In one, an actor wants to perform Shakespeare, but he is continually denied air-time. The other gag has an inventor trying to view the broadcast on television. Four of the sketches are in color (in shades of yellow and brown only). Written by Bruce W. Christopher <bwintonc@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Truly a Constellation of Stars too costly to present on any one Music Hall Programme. (Print Ad- Auckland Star, ((Auckland, NZ)) 8 January 1931)


Comedy | Musical


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 September 1930 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Hello Everybody See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)


Black and White | Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This "British equivalent of Hollywood's all-star revues", says the book "Film's Musical Moment", "is quite possibly the first ever to refer directly to television some six years before the BBC began regular television transmissions." See more »

Alternate Versions

Released in the US with the title HELLO EVERYBODY, it was truncated to about half the original running time. See more »


Featured in Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood (1995) See more »


Doubtful Quartet
Performed by Jack Hulbert, Bobbie Comber, Ivor McLaren and Lawrence Green
See more »

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User Reviews

A Piece of British History
24 May 2005 | by loza-1See all my reviews

This is interesting as a period piece. It is also of interest to Hitchcock fans.

Rather like the better-known American film King of Jazz, it is a collection of sketches albeit from the British music halls. Alas, this film is not nearly so good.

Sadly the music hall acts do not work so well on film. Will Fyffe, composer of "I Belong to Glasgow" in particular dies the death of a dog in a ditch.

There is a little Russian folk instruments orchestra who are uncredited. They probably only cost the studio ten pounds for the lot, and they may have been the same musicians who accompanied the great bass singer Fyodor Shalyapin on some of his best known records. To me they are the one act who come across well in this film. (Unlike Will Fyffe, balalaikas and domras will hold their own anywhere.) Sadly we may never know their names.

I doubt if the film makers were aware that what they were producing was a time capsule.

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