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Helter Skelter (1949)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance | 25 July 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.


Ralph Thomas


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


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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 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


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




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 July 1949 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gainsborough Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne have brief uncredited cameos as Major Bright and Captain Early, roles that they played inIt's Not Cricket (1949). See more »


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


Features Would You Believe It! (1929) See more »


Goodbye Hawaii
Written by Vic Robins, Leo Towers, Dave Apollon and Art Noel (as Harry Leon)
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User Reviews

The worst film I have ever seen
10 February 2011 | by Laurence_the_parrotSee all my reviews

I saw this film many many years ago on television with my parents. As a child I used to watch Richard Hearne as Mr Pastry in his comedy shows on television and quite liked those.

So I was intrigued by this film when it was shown to see what it would be like. The omens were quite promising, it was written by Patrick Campbell who I knew from the many times he was a captain on Call My Bluff (the other captain was Frank Muir and it was hosted by Robert Robertson). It was directed by Ralph Thomas who directed many popular British films of the 50s and 60s (Campbell's Kingdom and some of the Doctor films), It starred David Tomlinson (best known for the father in Mary Poppins).

I think the film was supposed to be a comedy, about the efforts made to try and stop a girl from hiccupping.

I and my parents found the film to be completely unfunny and we did not even manage a smile at any time. It was so bad that I have never forgotten this film and have no hesitation in saying that, of the many thousands of films I have seen, this stands out as the worst film of all.

I see that a DVD of this film is due to be released in April in the UK. I will not be buying a copy.

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