Where There's a Will (1936)

Not Rated   |    |  Comedy

Where There's a Will (1936) Poster

An incompetent solicitor unwittingly becomes party to a bank robbery.


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31 August 2009 | hitchcockthelegend
| I'll have a double double then.
Benjamin Stubbins {Will Hay} is an incompetent solicitor, who unbeknown to himself, is involved in a bank robbery.

Between 1934 and 1943, Will Hay made 18 feature length films. Starting out working for British International Pictures {3 films}, then Gainsborough Pictures {9} and finally doing his last five films for that bastion of old time British cinema, Ealing Studios. For those counting, the odd one out is Where's That Fire? Which was made by Twentieth Century-Fox. All of them are of varying quality, but each one, including the lesser lights such as this William Beaudine directed piece, showcase what a comic talent Will Hay was. Hay was a master of acting with his face as much as his voice and bodily movement. Given a good script, and a good supporting cast from which to feed off, Hay managed to give British cinema some of its finest comedy entries. Oh Mr Porter! Ask A Policeman and My Learned Friend are fit to grace any list of Great British cinema.

So where does that leave Where There's A Will? Well as a Hay performance it's really rather good. Suitably playing the buffoon with maximum cheek and incredulity, it's Hay who keeps the film from being a so so piece. That it isn't anything more than time filling entertainment outside of Hay himself, is down to the thinly plotted writing {surprising with the talented Sidney Gilliat co-writing} and the lack of decent comic villains. While Graham Moffatt, who along with Moore Marriott helped Hay realise his comedic ability in his career high points, is badly wasted. But still it's charming enough in spite of its lazy screenplay, none more so than with its breezy Christmas finale at the Wimpleton family estate, and it does find Hay on particularly entertaining form. 6.5/10

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