HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
Astronaut
Peanut Butter Falcon, The
Ip Man 4: The Finale
Card, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
   
 
  Bell Bottom George False Pretences Defences
Year: 1944
Director: Marcel Varnel
Stars: George Formby, Anne Firth, Reginald Purdell, Peter Murray-Hill, Manning Whiley, Hugh Dempster, Dennis Wyndham, Charles Farrell, Eliot Makeham, Peter Gawthorne, Jane Welsh, Charles Hawtrey
Genre: Musical, Comedy, WarBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The British Navy have recently developed and built a warship that will prove disastrous to the German Navy's submarines, and as a result they want to keep the design of the craft top secret. However, there is a Nazi spy cell operating in the port town where the ship is docked, and they are planning on getting the Navy's secrets back to Berlin by whatever means they can. As yet, this scheme appears to have gone undetected, so what can a civilian like George Blake (George Formby) do, especially as he has been disallowed from joining up after failing the medical? Well, you'd be surprised...

Or maybe you wouldn't be, as this was produced strictly to the formula of morale-boosting comedies that British studios churned out during the years of the Second World War. Formby was one of the biggest stars of the era, but his propaganda masterwork was not this, it was Let George Do It, which he had filmed a few years before, and by this stage the time honoured "comedian beats the Nazis" plotline was looking pretty worn out. That's not to say that Formby was running out of steam as far as his performances went, it's simply that everyone had pretty much got the idea about where these movies went.

Certainly there's nothing as satisfying as George humiliating Hitler in this, as there had been in Let George Do It, and the adventures here play it far too safe. There are a few laughs to be had, as when George is reduced to his underwear by the bad guys and complains he cannot walk around the streets like that as he'll be mistaken for Gandhi (yes, that's very likely, Mr Formby), but mostly you tolerate the shenanigans here because they were made with the best intentions. Created solely to cheer up a beleaguered nation, you could not begrudge the public the chance to forget the more pressing troubles in their lives.

Of course, watching Bell Bottom George now you can see all the signs of a production line at work here, with the usual lampooning of the officer class so the conscripts have something to sympathise with, the romantic lead for George who is won over by his gauche charms (here played by Ann Firth), and the final race to keep the villains from getting their way - a chase should do the trick. Here our hero manages to get into the Navy, which has been his dream or so we're led to believe, by a case of mistaken identity when his boxer friend, who is also a sailor, steals his suit during an air raid and George has to wear his uniform to leave his room.

So with the boxer in the infirmary after getting drunk and clonked on the noggin, George cannot make anyone accept that he's not who they think he is, and the more he gets in over his head the further he gets the chance to save the day. He stumbles upon the sound of the Nazis' code as they send out their messages from the cover of a taxidermist's shop, and thanks to future Carry On star Charles Hawtrey setting him right, he learns that the sound he has heard is not crickets after all. But what would a Formby vehicle be without his songs? The first tune he sings is to his pet goldfish, which makes the heart sink, but fortunately things improve with better ditties including the title track, so this is not entirely worth dismissing as average at best. Though it does come close.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3948 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: