Ask a Policeman

1939

Marcel Varnel
Director
Gainsborough Pictures
Studio

Trio of lazy policemen are suddenly forced to find people to arrest or else lose their jobs. At the same time a smuggling ring is operating literally on their doorstep.

Will Hay comedy (basically a remake of his earlier Oh, Mr. Porter! has fitfully funny moments, but those are largely offset by the fact that just about everyone in the film is unpleasant. And it doesn't help that there really isn't much of an ending. A shame, because there are some great lines ("Guy Fawkes wasn't a criminal--he invented fireworks") and Marriott, at least, is amusing. Hard to believe that barely a decade later studios like Ealing would be turning out masterpieces of comedy and radio program-based movies like this would become a dim memory.

Note: Desmond Llewelyn is mentioned in many sources as playing the "Headless Horseman," which he may well have done (how can you tell, though?), but he is also one of the revenue cutter sailors as well.

-Dave W.



12th April 1939
Cinema



83 mins
1.37:1


28th April 2010
DVD



1.33:1



HyperLink
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Will Hay
Sergeant Samuel Dudfoot
Graham Moffatt
Albert Brown
Moore Marriott
Jeremiah "Jerry" Harbottle /
Harbottle Sr.
Glennis Lorimer
Emily
Peter Gawthorne
Chief Constable John Cronshaw
Charles Oliver
The Squire, Montague Pennington
Herbert Lomas
Coastguard
Cyril Chamberlain
Radio Announcer
(uncredited)
Unknown
Reporter (uncredited)
Brian Worth
Broadcasting Engineer
(uncredited)
Unknown
Assistant Engineer
(uncredited)
Unknown
Ernie, the Postman
(uncredited)
Patrick Aherne
Motorist (uncredited)
Dave O'Toole
Seth Munro
(uncredited)
Noel Dainton
Revenue Officer
(uncredited)
Desmond Llewelyn
Headless Horseman
Revenue Crewman
(uncredited)
Unknown
Police Sergeant
(uncredited)
Unknown
Motorcyclist (uncredited)
Unknown
Henchman (uncredited)
Unknown
Henchman / Lorry Driver
(uncredited)
Unknown
P.C. on Call Box
(uncredited)
Unknown
Complaining Bus Passenger
(uncredited)
Unknown
Complaining Bus Passenger
(uncredited)
Unknown
Cab Driver (uncredited)
Unknown
Fallen Bus Passenger
(uncredited)

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes