6.8/10
353
5 user 3 critic

The Goose Steps Out (1942)

Approved | | Comedy | August 1942 (UK)
A bumbling teacher turns out to be the double of a German general. He is flown into Germany to impersonate the general and cause chaos and hilarity in a Hitler Youth college.

Directors:

Basil Dearden, Will Hay

Writers:

Bernard Miles (based on an idea by), Reg Groves (based on an idea by) (as Reg. Groves) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Will Hay ... William Potts / Muller
Charles Hawtrey ... Max
Peter Croft Peter Croft ... Hans
Barry Morse ... Kurt
Peter Ustinov ... Krauss
Anne Firth Anne Firth ... Lena
Frank Pettingell ... Prof. Hoffman
Leslie Harcourt Leslie Harcourt ... Vogel
Julien Mitchell Julien Mitchell ... Gen. Von Goltz
Jeremy Hawk ... A.D.C.
Raymond Lovell Raymond Lovell ... Schmidt
Aubrey Mallalieu Aubrey Mallalieu ... Rector
John Williams ... Maj. Bishop
Lawrence O'Madden Lawrence O'Madden ... Col. Truscott
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Storyline

A bumbling teacher turns out to be the double of a German general. He is flown into Germany to impersonate the general and cause chaos and hilarity in a Hitler Youth college. Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hitlerjugend | spy | world war two | See All (3) »

Taglines:

Pokes Fun at the Hun!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1942 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Dumme som gæs See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Closing credits: The events and characters portrayed in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to any incident, name or individual is coincidental. See more »

Goofs

During the flying of the plane near the end, when they are trying to control it, in one sky shot the camera spins round, rather than the plane itself. See more »

Quotes

William Potts: It's the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me Goebbels.
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User Reviews

 
Subversive schoolmaster for Nazi spies
4 January 2016 | by Igenlode WordsmithSee all my reviews

Loved this -- probably one of the funniest Will Hay films I've seen. I far prefer the pictures he made with Charles Hawtrey to the 'classic' teaming with Moore/Marriott, and an excellent supporting cast here includes Peter Ustinov and Frank Pettingell (of "Gaslight" fame).

I always find Hay funnier when he is being a pompous but resourceful twit rather than simply an arrogant incompetent, and here his schoolmaster character is put up against the Nazis and manages (with assistance) to rise to the occasion... aided by the fact that his opponents half the time are even bigger buffoons than he is. A sharp script relies heavily on verbal humour, with two outstanding scenes that riff on the absurdities of the English language. The invasion plan sequence in which Hay improvises strategy wildly in a cascade of puns while attempting to pick a German general's pocket deserves to be a classic of the genre (take them from the flanks in Lancs to keep the Paras all tied up in Notts... but don't get caught with your Panzers down in the Severn Tunnel).

There is also a clever yet natural-seeming series of gags making use of an asbestos suit, some of which you can see (and enjoy) coming in advance, some of which I didn't! The final reels of the film didn't work quite so well for me, chiefly because I couldn't help but be aware that with all those antics the plane wouldn't have lasted for a minute and had some trouble suspending my disbelief in the name of comedy -- it's always funnier when it's actually physically plausible, however far-fetched. (The ingenious tactic by which Hay contrives to prevent his friend Professor Hoffmann from drinking a glass of poison by triggering his "Heil Hitler" reflex precisely at the requisite moment, for example.) Up to that point I would have rated the film at a definite 8/10; I still rate it a solid seven.

The contrast between English and American propaganda films was never more marked; see also "Night Train to Munich", "Pimpernel Smith" and even "The Lady Vanishes" for Englishmen working against the Nazis who simply don't take themselves all that seriously.


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