Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Well, I never did like that carpet, anyway..."

As a special show of thanks to all of you who have been clicking on the Extremely Unobtrusive Ads in the sidebar (and if you aren't among them, please join them), I'm posting two more videos this week. Today, I present Will Hay in the 1942 British Ministry of Information public service short Go To Blazes. This isn't exactly typical Hay comedy (I'll be bringing you some of that later), but it's definitely interesting. Some might find the short's light handling of the threat of Nazi incendiary bombs jarring (especially as Will's comic bungling could conceivably result in real harm), but given the terrible circumstances under which the British public found themselves, I find the approach perfectly understandable, if deeply poignant. A brief word about the director: Walter Forde was formerly a silent comedian who, in the words of Glenn Mitchell, was "almost alone in making comedies in the American style". Forde curtailed his acting career in 1930 to concentrate on directing and handled some of the top British comics of the war years including Arthur Askey in The Ghost Train, the Crazy Gang in Gasbags (both 1941), and Tommy Handley in It's That Man Again (1943).

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Anonymous east side said...

Boy, those Brits really were a stoic bunch back then. To make a comedic training film on putting out incendiary bombs... I can't imagine living like that now.

My first glimpse of Will Hay in action, too. I look forward to seeing more.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Aaron Neathery said...

.. and you'll be GETTING more, dammit! As I said, this isn't typical Hay. He's waaay too mellow and domestic.

11:50 AM  

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