Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Oh, Mr. Porter!

Easily the most famous of Will Hay's features and one of the all-time great British comedies, Oh, Mr. Porter! is so well-known that I considered skipping it here. But I can't; it's simply too good, and you never know.. this is probably new to someone. In the 1937 film that established the pattern for (most of) the rest of the Hay/Moffatt/Marriott pictures, Hay stars as William Porter, a railway wheel-tapper who has, thanks to relatives in high places, been elevated to the position of station master for the tiny Irish town of Buggleskelly. That he's hardly qualified is considered of little importance as he's expected to last no longer than any of the town's previous station masters, who apparently have had a tendency to go mad. Porter immediately finds himself saddled with the corrupt and shiftless Harbottle and Albert, his deputy station master and porter respectively, who resist any and all efforts to make the dilapidated station run professionally as they've been making an easy living by stealing deliveries off the trains. I had created a few clips of my own from the film, but found that there were much cleaner and sharper versions already on YouTube so I'm linking to those instead.

Porter meets Harbottle and Albert. "Next train's gone!"


Another great twisted-logic routine from Hay, Moffatt, and Marriott.

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