A Parisian sewer worker longs for a rise in status and a beautiful wife. He rescues a girl from the police, lives with her in a barren flat on the seventh floor, and then marches away to ... See full summary »
Charley Wyckham and Jack Chesney pressure fellow student Fancourt Babberly to pose as Charley's Brazilian Aunt Donna Lucia. Their purpose is to have a chaperone for their amorous visits with Amy and Kitty, niece and ward of crusty Stephen Spettigue. Complications begin when Fancourt, in drag, becomes the love object of old Spettigue and Sir Francis Chesney.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Richard Haydn did not use his did not use his usual 'timid professor' voice when playing "Charley"; however, he did use that voice when dubbing the opening line of the movie ("Good afternoon, Mr. Redcliff") for what is presumably an uncredited extra. See more »
(at around 4 mins) The "Square Leg Umpire" is in the wrong position. Technically he is at "Backward Square Leg". See more »
Good afternoon, Mr. Redcliff.
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Jack Benny is "Charley's Aunt," in this 1941 film version of the famous play, one of several film re-creations that exist. Benny plays Fancourt Babberly, a somewhat older student at a British university in the late 1800s who, through a series of complications, winds up playing Donna Lucia of Brazil, the aunt of another student, Charley, because Charley and his friend Jack need a chaperone in order to have the dates they've planned. The late-arriving aunt is actually portrayed by the lovely Kay Francis, and wait until you catch the look on her face when she sees what's been impersonating her. As ridiculous looking as Fancourt looks in his drag attire, he manages to win the hearts of both the ward of one of the young women and the father of Jack Chesney, who pursue him relentlessly. Fancourt, meanwhile, finds the real Donna Lucia quite a strudel.
There's nothing like a man in drag for laughs, and when the man is Jack Benny, watch out! Benny, famous for his long takes, is delightful here, and what makes him even funnier is that every once in a while, he says one word or another with a British pronunciation in the middle of a sentence where he's using his typical American accent. It had to be on purpose.
The DVD of the film has a short publicity reel shown in theaters called "Three of a Kind," which has Benny in the 20th Century Fox commissary trying to explain his role to Tyrone Power and Randolph Scott as a bellhop asks his approval on a girdle, a dress and shoes. It's very good.
Jack Benny was a wonderful actor and comedian with a great, dry, sometimes exasperated delivery. He made audiences laugh for years. Thanks to the existence of his radio shows and movies, he's still doing it.
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