Will Hay is a teacher in a prison, who applies for the Headship of Narkover, a public school. This is the first screen appearance of Hay in his (to be ) famous schoolmaster role, in a story...
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Will Hay is a teacher in a prison, who applies for the Headship of Narkover, a public school. This is the first screen appearance of Hay in his (to be ) famous schoolmaster role, in a story based on Dr Smart-Alec, the character created by John Cameron Andrieu Bingham Michael Morton (J.B. Morton, "Beachcomber")Written by
Michael Crew <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Way Hay had been performing his "Fourth Form at St. Michaels" routines for a quarter of a century when he made this movie, the first of his "Schoolmaster" films. Most of the fun for a contemporary audience would have been too see it in the cinema, instead of over the radio or (rarely) on the stage.
Hay hits most of his character's notes right off the bat: he's venal, not as well-educated as he would let on, and a bit dithery. It's not the best of his movies, nor even of the Schoolmaster efforts. That would not happen until he had picked up his best stooge, Moore Marriott as a student so dimwitted he has grown old in the school -- a role originally played on the stage by Hay's wife.
Although not the best, there are plenty of laughs in this one, provided mostly by "Mayhem in the Classroom" routines and Hay's interaction with Gordon Harker, as Hay's forger, valet and blackmailer. The cinema-goer is offered a view of the public school boy and the graduates of Narkover School as venal, stupid, outright criminal and barely outwitted by Hay -- an image that surely appealed to the often lower-class film audiences.
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