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A Cuckoo in the Nest (1933)

A crowded inn means that a man and a woman must share the same room for a night. One problem is that they are both married - to other people. The other problem is that they used to be ... See full summary »


Tom Walls


A.R. Rawlinson (scenario), Ben Travers (adaptation) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview:
Tom Walls ... Maj. Bone
Ralph Lynn Ralph Lynn ... Peter Wyckham
Grace Edwin Grace Edwin ... Mrs. Bone
Yvonne Arnaud Yvonne Arnaud ... Marguerite Hickett
Mary Brough Mary Brough ... Mrs. Spoker
Robertson Hare Robertson Hare ... Rev. Sloley Jones (as J. Robertson Hare)
Gordon James Gordon James ... Noony
Veronica Rose Veronica Rose ... Barbara Wyckham
Mark Daly Mark Daly ... Pinhorn
Cecil Parker ... Claude Hickett
Roger Livesey ... Alfred
Norah Howard Norah Howard ... Gladys
Frank Pettingell ... Landlord (as F. Pettingell)
Joan Brierley Joan Brierley ... Kate (The Wyckhams' Maid)


A crowded inn means that a man and a woman must share the same room for a night. One problem is that they are both married - to other people. The other problem is that they used to be engaged to each other. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

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Release Date:

November 1933 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

B.A.F. Sound System

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

24 January 2014 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

The live Brian Rix plays were special nights on TV for me in the '60's and I've always found plenty to savour and enjoy in the farces written by Ben Travers; this certainly is no exception. First staged in 1925 it was the second of what turned out ultimately to be twelve farces of variable quality produced by Tom Walls at the Aldwych Theatre in London – the film has its faults but brought together most of the original cast. You veer from sly coyness to coy slyness in an expert company who all looked as if they enjoyed every manic moment – and why not, they were merely re-enacting for the camera a previously huge stage success. And they filmed this and the other Aldwych farces to try to save them for posterity...

On an unfulfilled visit to the Bunters one ridiculous incident leads to another and a married man and married woman find themselves sharing a hotel bedroom as husband and wife with all the assumed moral conjugal rights that might bring. And all the moral outrage it can bring when their innocent subterfuge unravels. I notice that as usual the previous commenter disliked the film – what a rotten life it must be never to watch a film you like! But I would admit that you maybe have to be in a good mood to properly enjoy this as concentration can be required to fathom the then moral complexities of the stream of sexual and alcoholic double-entendres. There's an incessantly sparkling dialogue, usually broad often witty silly humour but also some occasional flat stretches that can leave you squirming (sometimes sympathetically); for example silly ass Ralph Lynn testing the bedroom for floor draughts to Yvonne Arnaud's shrill laughter but then taking an age to get comfortable under the washstand. However, I laughed out loud many times but afterwards hardly knew why because everything is so inconsequential. Hell – pardon the profanity – it's very often beautiful stuff and nonsense! Everyone is markedly eccentric but Tom Walls piles it on as the red-nosed tipsy father-in-law to the bumbling Lynn and as the head of a farcically dysfunctional family; Robertson Have A Care Hare plays the well meaning motorbiking but under-oiled vicar; Cecil Parker, Roger Livesey and Frank Pettigell had smaller roles.

Sadly the understanding and appreciation of this art form has been almost completely extinguished by the onslaught of permissiveness. Although I remember seeing it when I was young I assume that the BBC junked their TV adaptation of it long ago; however interesting it might be to see it again it could hardly hold a candle to this version anyway.

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