Lovable Knockabout Nonsense With Flanagan And Allen
This may not be the most substantial film ever made. Indeed, in one sense it isn't a 'film' at all, being a loosely-linked collection of Flanagan & Allen stage routines, rather than a work conceived for the cinema. But for all that, it is a hugely enjoyable jumble of nonsense.
Charlie Wallace, a golden-hearted businessman, dies and leaves a will. His evil business partner, James Bradshaw, produces a phoney will which enables him to inherit all the goodies, including a newspaper company. The paper's horse racing tipster, "Corona" Flanagan, smells a rat and resolves to find the original will.
The film is fascinating because it captures a moribund art form and records it forever - the variety music hall act. Flanagan, the comic in his trade mark battered boater, and Allen, the handsome straight man, are supported by deliciously old-fashioned "turns" like Peter The Boy Soloist and the Iris Kirkwhite Dancers. There are liberal sprinklings of Flanagan & Allen patter routines. These may jar somewhat on the modern ear, with their rhythmic repetitions and stilted construction, but they should be seen as the swan-song of a venerable tradition. No fewer than seven stage routines can be discerned, embedded in the film's notional plot.
The name of Bud Flanagan will forever be associated with tuneful, sentimental songs, and this film contains four excellent numbers: Flanagan's own compositions "Linger A While" and "You'll Never Miss Your Mother", and Ivor Mendelssohn's "Tomorrow Is A Beautiful Day" and the theme song, "Here Comes The Sun".
No matter that the storyline is rudimentary and the acting unrealistic - "Here Comes The Sun" is a delightful glimpse into a form of entertainment that was dying even as it was being filmed.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this