5.9/10
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6 user 1 critic

Helter Skelter (1949)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance | 7 August 1949 (UK)
A radio 'detective' gets involved with a wealthy socialite who can't seem to stop hiccuping due to the machinations of a ghostly cupid who works his magic to cause mayhem and laughter throughout the film.

Director:

Ralph Thomas

Writers:

Gerard Bryant (additional dialogue), Patrick Campbell | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carol Marsh Carol Marsh ... Susan Graham
David Tomlinson ... Nick Martin
Mervyn Johns ... Ernest Bennett
Peter Hammond ... Spencer Stone
Richard Hearne Richard Hearne ... Professor Pastry
Peter Haddon Peter Haddon ... Major Basil Beagle
Geoffrey Sumner ... Humphrey Beagle
Jon Pertwee ... Headwaiter / Charles II
Zena Marshall ... Giselle
Terry-Thomas ... Himself
Jimmy Edwards Jimmy Edwards ... Dr. Edwards
Colin Gordon ... Chadbeater Longwick
Judith Furse ... Mrs. Martin
Edmund Willard Edmund Willard ... Ezekial
Robert Lamouret Robert Lamouret ... The 'Duck' Man
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Storyline

This is the ultimate screwball comedy, its weird, but endearing. An heiress who is being courted by two gentlemen develops incurable hiccups after watching a comedic dinner-theater performance. Through a series of events she meets the shy star of a radio detective show [David Tomlinson] who is attracted by the fact that she isn't a fan-girl; however his attempts at courting are cut short by his overprotective mother. A series of attempts to cure her condition including watching a silent film sketch ultimately result in a visit to a haunted house where further hijinks ensue.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hip-Hiccup-Hooray!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 August 1949 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gainsborough Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The long sequence of silent film they watch is from Would You Believe It! (1929), which features Walter Forde as the man with the suitcase. See more »

Quotes

Terry-Thomas: So sorry listeners for the delay but I've just discovered a slight technical hitch...
See more »

Connections

References Miranda (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Carry Me Back To Green Pastures
(uncredited)
Written by Harry S. Pepper
See more »

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User Reviews

Farcical BBC based comedy in the 'pre-python' age of innocence.
13 December 2001 | by sfothersSee all my reviews

I watched Helter Skelter about 30 years ago at the time when Monty Python was in its first series. Helter Skelter is equally amusing, but in an innocent way that I suppose would now be sneered at! Interesting at the time though to compare it with 'Python'. I recall that the plot centres around a 'hooray henry' character who for some reason cannot stop the 'hiccups'. His girlfriend (can't remember the actress's name) tries to find a cure or solution. No complications in the plot! The movie is filmed extensively inside the BBC in what I assume must be the building in Great Portland Street. Some of the scenes are extremely funny but generally the comedy is rather dated, still enjoyable though.

I recall one of the characters (I think maybe the leading lady's aunt) portrays a typical British girls public school sports mistress. Again I cannot recall the actress's name, but she is easily the funniest character in the movie. An enormous lady, who rides around on a tiny motor scooter, bizarre! Very funny though, and her best line is in recommending a psychiatrist to cure the hooray's hiccups because "he cured me completely of collecting hockey sticks". Terry-Thomas is also very funny, playing a pre-pop disk jockey who smashes all his records and is forced to impersonate the various acts.

As mentioned, the comedy would now be considered dated, but this zany movie has stuck in my memory since 1970 and I wish I could get to see it again.


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