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  Boots! Boots!
Year: 1934
Director: Bert Tracy
Stars: George Formby, Beryl Formby, Arthur Kingsley, Eileen Keyes, Ronald Reid
Genre: Musical, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  1 (from 1 vote)
Review: Pity poor Boots, a lowly shoeshiner and general hotel dogsbody. When not having run ins with the manager, arguing with the chef or abusing guests he finds time to make unsuccessful attempts at wooing Beryl the scullery maid whilst playing with his ukulele. Can he ever turn his fortunes round? Maybe his musical skills can help?

The unique talents of music hall favourite George Formby got their first cinematic airing in this effort from 1934, although it's only a film in the loosest sense of the word. Cobbled together over a fortnight it's a zero budget translation of a stage show co-written by the star. There isn't much to adapt though as Boots! Boots! is devoid of plot and follows what would become the standard template for Formby's films; comic episodes interspaced with cheeky songs, although it's in its crudest form here. The film is badly paced with seemingly no direction. The camera remains static throughout, simply plonked infront of the actors as they recite the dialogue with little enthusiasm.

Although Boots! Boots! would act as the springboard for a highly successful movie career that would include such polished efforts as Let George Do It and No Limit it's hard to see what the initial appeal was. Formby's character is unlikeable, a rude argumentative chap and the performances from the supporting cast are uniformly terrible. This includes Beryl Formby, George's infamously domineering wife/manager, as our hero's love interest. Although she does get to do a jaunty little tap dance to an instrumental version of Chinese Laundry Blues in the film's finale.

A curio piece for film historians and of obvious interest to Formby fans Boots! Boots! has nothing to recommend to a wider audience. Those unconvinced by the appeal of the lad from Lancashire will be left suitably bewildered after viewing this poor example of early British cinema.
Reviewer: Jason Cook

 

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