This was the fourth from last film produced by the legendary Ealing Studios. It's a rather maudlin tale of a music hall act, the Mad Morgans, a family act whose most talented member Davy (played by Harry Secombe) dreams of becoming an opera singer...
|Ron Randell, Susan Shaw, Bill Owen and George Relph (the father of the film's director Michael Relph)|
Right from the start it's clear they are not experiencing great success with their act, playing at the Collins Music Hall, a rather down-at-heel theatre in a dingy London street.
This story of the dying days of the music hall (where the 'stars' dream of getting a slot on television) was a rather fitting project for Ealing Studios whose own star had waned and which had been reduced to producing comedies as poor as this one.
Because it is poor: really poor. The plot is weak, there is little comedy, it is poorly paced and rather depressing, yet without any real charm to commend it. You know a film is bad when the most memorable scene is a monkey in a dress drinking coca cola:
The attempt at injecting glamour into the film - basically Susan Shaw in her underwear and getting her bum painted on stage -
|Susan Shaw, Harry Secome and Bill Owen|
counts for little. And Shaw is hardly the glamour girl she was ten years earlier - although I suppose that's the point.
There's little to say about the film apart from to have a look at some of the bit-players:
|Bernard Cribbins (in an uncredited role, only his second film appearance)|
|Kenneth Connor (with Bill Owen and Harry Secombe)|
|Frank Atkinson (right)|
... who had started his film career in 1930, had starred in 'Death Drives Through' (see earlier post) ...
|Death Drives Through (1935)|
... played a bit part in 'The Man in the White Suit' ...
|Frank Atkinson in 'The Man in the White Suit'|
... and was also a screenwriter, having ten scripts produced in the 1930s and a TV series in the 1950s. He died in 1953.
Finally, Susan Shaw's son was played by Peter Frampton, the son of Harry Frampton who worked as a make up artist on 'Davy' and many other Ealing Studios productions. Frampton junior followed his father into the industry and was the chief make-up artist on Braveheart.
This poster is currently available from Greg Edwards: