Charley's (Big-Hearted) Aunt

1940

Comedy

200
IMDb Rating 6 10 148

Synopsis


Downloaded times
January 14, 2022

Director

Cast

Anthony Dawson as Student
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
699.72 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
75 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.27 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
75 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 6 / 10 / 10

A silly reworking of the old story.

I was surprised when I looked on IMDb to see how many versions there are listed of this story. There are TONS--and in many different languages--all beginning in 1915. However, the story predates this, as it was a VERY successful London play in the 1890s--with over 1400 performances! Because of this, there's a very good change you've seen one of these versions or films that seem to have been influenced by "Charley's Aunt" (such as "Tootsie" or "Some Like it Hot"). Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt were most often seen in films supporting Will Hay. However, after quite a few successful films together, the pair began working with Arthur Askey--another very successful film comedian. Moffat and Richard Murdock are students at Oxford--though how these boobs got into the school is beyond me. The three are constantly in trouble and sooner or later, they're bound to be 'sent down' (that's British for 'expelled'). So, when they finally have pushed too far, the dean sends a letter to their aunt to report their indiscretions. However, the letter is intercepted by Askey and he is persuaded to impersonate the aunt--and try to charm the school officials out of the expulsion. In a twist from the original story, it seems that Askey had learned how to play a woman (badly) by playing the lead in the school production of "Charley's Aunt". In other words, it's like a play within a play. I could tell you more about what happens next, but it's best you just see it for yourself. This is a pretty typical Askey film. Pleasant and silly, but certainly not brilliant or a must-see movie. It's funny, but my wife had no idea what I was watching but when she came in the room she saw Askey in drag and said "who's that guy". And, if it's THAT obvious to the viewer, perhaps they didn't do the best job in the film.

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 7 / 10 / 10

Watch Jack Benny's version instead!

A Gainsborough Picture, made at Shepherd's Bush Studios. Not copyrighted or theatrically released in the U.S.A. U.K. release through General Film Distributors: 2 September 1940. U.K. trade show: 16 April 1940. No Australian theatrical release. Mr. Forde's services by courtesy of Associated Talking Pictures Ltd. 76 minutes. SYNOPSIS: Undergraduates attempt to avoid being sent down from Oxford by taking a leaf out of "Charley's Aunt". NOTES: This seems to be the only British version of the Thomas play which opened at the Royalty Theatre, London, on 21 December 1892 and ran 1,466 performances. Despite the play's enormous popularity on the English repertory circuit, all other movie versions are American: Sydney Chaplin starred in a silent for the Christie Film Company in 1925. Christie re-made the film in 1930, starring Charles Ruggles. In 1941, Fox produced "Charley's American Aunt" (as it was called in Great Britain) starring Jack Benny; and in 1952 Warner Bros came up with "Where's Charley" with Ray Bolger. COMMENT: Well, playmates, it was a long time to wait — over fifty years — but was the wait worth it? (This version was finally shown in Australia, on national TV, on 16 July 1994. It was never released to Australian cinemas, because the local exchange, 20th Century-Fox, had no desire to undermine the box-office of their own Jack Benny movie). The answer is a very qualified yes. It was good to see the film at last, but it is only mildly amusing at best, and well below the standard of Askey's other work of this period, such as "The Ghost Train" and "Back Room Boy". However it could have been even more bland. All the players try extremely hard to infuse the somewhat dated proceedings with mirth. (I mean the movie is still dated, despite the fact that the play itself is regarded as a period piece. Who could accept the 40-year- old Askey as an Oxford undergrad, and who but the most purblind idiot would be fooled for a second by his obvious impersonation?). I could go through the entire cast list and single out each performer for praise. Phyllis Calvert looks very attractive here, whilst J.H. Roberts is wonderfully patronizing as a dean with an interest in Egyptology. Incidentally, unless my ears deceive me, I thought Miss Calvert's name in the film was Peggy, not Betty, that Bargate is pronounced Bogate, and that Wally Patch plays an assistant proctor named Pryce. This movie has been produced on a grand scale, with big sets and lots of extras milling about. Technical credits are likewise impressive. It's a shame that all this expenditure of money and talent has not metamorphosed into an entertainment offering at least the equal of the Jack Benny vehicle which, being a much more straightforward adaptation, would seem to have many more handicaps to overcome. Here on the other hand, we have a free-ranging script, plus players and a director well suited to their material, but the result, whilst very moderately funny, is outclassed by a competitor who started well down the field. Or to use another sporting metaphor, it's a case of the British being beaten by the Americans at cricket — and on their home turf too! I don't know why Fox were so anxious to protect Benny and not simply let audiences decide who was the better aunt. I have no doubt Benny would have won that box-office contest hands down.

Reviewed by Spondonman 7 / 10 / 10

"Aunts In Their Paunts"

I've never been a drag fan, I enjoyed Danny La Rue's turns on the Good Old Days on TV when I was a kid for the songs I suppose, but the humour and enjoyment in cross-dressing has always been a mystery to me. Ergo I don't have many such films in my collection. Having said that Arthur Askey looked pretty convincing as an old and rather plain Auntie, more so than either he or Richard Murdoch looked as "young" Oxford students. Although Graham Moffat almost got away with it and Moore Marriott as the venerable caretaker certainly did! As a result of heinous crimes against the University that would get them admiring kudos and Awards nowadays Askey/Murdoch/Moffat face expulsion. To escape this Askey pretends his rich Auntie is keen to finance an archaeological expedition to Egypt (a subject very close to the headmaster's heart) but later has to impersonate her. Farcical confusion is the result of the deception. Watch out for that 5,000 year old vase! A good cast with some good lines, good situations; shame that Wally Patch only showed in the first reel; I almost felt sorry for schoolmaster Felix Aylmer floundering in the Isis; Phyllis Calvert never looked more decorative; but overall not among the best Askey vehicles. I think all it really needed was a bit more witty repartee between Big and Stinker inserted into the plot, not only to pad the running time out but for a few laughs not associated with cross-dressing for the likes of me! But for anyone who sits through the entire 72 minutes not liking it: don't you ever feel a little foolish for having wasted your time?

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