User Reviews (8)

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  • Warning: Spoilers
    George's penultimate film and different from all of his others in that there's a cold blooded murder perpetrated in front of our startled eyes. Probably the inevitable result of 5 years of tens of millions of cold blooded murders thanks to WW2 though, and after all 1939 was another era. And Columbia trying to send George in a new direction, although for their pains the film earned an "A" certificate.

    George Trotter arrives in London from Manchester trying to make his name on the stage. He becomes ensconced in Ma Tubbs Select Boarding House full which is full of eccentric international thespians trying to make it big too, such as Alpha and Omega (the Boswell Twins) the part time Siamese twins – even after George broke up their act! George's next door neighbour in room 13 acrobat Dennis Wyndham is murdered – George is framed for it and spends the rest of the film trying to prove his innocence. Meanwhile the crafty foreign murderer seems to be getting away with it, until he attempts to murder our George too. Luckily imperturbable Inspector Ian Fleming was in charge, and not Detective Sergeant Wally "They can't make a fool out of me" Patch, otherwise George would've been hanged in double quick time. Songs: I'd Like A Dream Like That and the even more risqué than usual She's Got Two Of Everything (for the boarders) and He Was Such A Daring Young Man (during the show, integral to the plot). Favourite bits: The efficiently executed murder; Wally Patch bumbling around chasing George; the denouement and the very end when he and Marjorie Browne laugh into the camera – it's only a film and nothing really happened.

    Too dark a subject to be one of my favourite Formby's, but as usual entertaining for a fan and well worth watching
  • This tightly plotted story about how George gets involved in a murder as a suspect and victim is efficiently directed, as one would expect from a farce with Marcel Varnel at the helm. However, George Formby's usual charm is largely absent from this movie. Part of the reason is that some of the plot is put into motion by George's lies. But, the majority of the distaste I have is that George's goal is to be a star on the stage, which he is evidently unfitted for. In other movies his goals are ones he can obviously attain, once given an opportunity: to win an auto race or become a newspaper photographer. Not here: George, in the body of the story, anyway, is blissfully free from talent.

    But Varnel's style of story is cut-glass farce: his best work was with Will Hay and the Crazy Gang. George Formby's appeal lay in other directions and although he can carry out standard farce, it's a waste for him to do so, like sitting Frank Sinatra down at a piano and telling him to play. George does get to perform three songs, including one of his better ones, "He Was Such a Daring Young Man." Also giving a good performance is Ian Fleming as an unflappable police inspector, but they can't really make this a good movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    With having been introduced to the charms of George Formby from the age of 6,thanks to my dad recording a number of his movies off Channel 4 from the early 90's,I felt that it was about time,to introduce a friend to the leaning on a lamppost world of Formby.

    The plot:

    Bravely leaving his family and the cotton picking job that he has had for his whole life,penniless George Trotter decides to follow his dream of entertaining people by going from the industrial sound of Manchester,to the dazzling lights of London.Finding himself desperate to find a place to stay,Trotter decides to go for a low-rent room in Ma Tubb's Select Boarding House.Meeting his fellow residents,George is thrilled to discover that all of them have the same dream as his of making it to the shining lights.Sadly for George,one of his fellow Boarding House residents see his arrival as a clever way to make Trotter a lead suspect for a murder which he did not commit.

    View on the film:

    Although the screenplay by Stephen Black,Peter Fraser,Norman Lee,Howard Irving Young and Michael Vaughan (not the England cricket captain- despite what IMDb claim!) does sadly lack the witty,double meaning lyrics and wonderfully catchy fantasy sequence's which help to make Formby's other films so memorable,the writer's impressively make the murder part of the movie really strong,thanks to getting George caught up in situations well over his head, (with Formby having to play dead being a particular highlight) and director Marcel Varnel also making the real murderer surprisingly menacing. (Something that would lead to this being Formby's only "A" rated film.)

    Showing that not even two sub-par songs can bring him down,George Formby gives a terrific,warm hearted performance as George Trotter,with Formby showing Trotter to be someone,who even when his own neck is on the line, (the movie was made when people were still being executed via hanging in the UK) is still thinking about what he can do to help those around him reach the shining lights.
  • George Formby struggled to remain relevant after the war, and soon wisely quit films. The warm-hearted pre-war farces at which he excelled were followed by his enjoyable wartime flagwavers, but it quickly became clear that George wouldn't be able to cut it again in Civvy Street, as styles grew more realistic, and the competition was no longer the stagey quota quickies of the 30s, but harder-edged violent thrillers like Brighton Rock and No Orchids for Miss Blandish. I Didn't Do It was a game attempt to live in that world, but it simply doesn't work.

    The sub-par casting doesn't help - Marjorie Browne is sweet but utterly forgettable, Jack Daly rather repellent, and Caryll & Mundy's style is too coarse to carry as much of the action as they do. The attention is naturally drawn by the experienced and talented actors playing the policemen and the villain. George is on good form, but one aches for the songs, of which we only get three, to arrive. However, She's Got Two of Everything is George at his best, and I'd Like a Dream Like That isn't bad either.

    The main problem is the inordinate length. Padded out to 95 minutes, it should have ended quickly after about an hour. The whole final scene of the revue is superfluous, stupendously boring and only tangentially related to the solution of the crime.
  • George (George Formby) moves into a theatrical boarding house and tries to raise money for a theatrical production, but soon finds himself the chief suspect of one of the house residents.

    A late Formby vehicle has its moments and energy, but is less funny than his earlier films.
  • malcolmgsw16 December 2018
    The fact that there at least 5 writers on this, George's penultimate film,shows that they were running out of ideas.Some of the set piece scenes,such as that with psychoanalyst, and that with the murderer.These are laugh free zones.This type of film simply didn't suit George.By the way Caryl and Munday were music hall artists who featured at the Lonion Palladium in the first Crazy Week which eventually became the Crazy Gang.
  • Everyone in this film is funnier and more effective than Formby who could be replaced by any other comedian here.

    This is basically Ian Fleming's, Gaston Palmer and Marcel Varnel's film who all deserve greater credit for propping Formby up. The theatrical and seedy boarding house backgrounds are also well achieved as are the out of work actors' love for their work.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I Didn't Do It (1945) is one of my favorite Formby movies. One of the main reasons I like it so much is for the very reason that most fans dislike it, namely because it is so unusual – at least for a Formby movie. It's no accident that, although shot in England, this one was produced by Hollywood's Columbia studio and that what we have here is a variation on Abbott and Costello territory where the laughs are mixed with thrills. And there's also time out for a bright song or two. Although George is always the center of attention, there is plenty of room in the scenario for some of the other actors, particularly for Ian Fleming (who shares the cover of Columbia's excellent DVD with George) and Fleming's none-too-bright offsider, excellently played by Wally Patch. I liked the Boswell twins too, but this is their only movie and even IMDb doesn't know their first names. The guy who plays the killer (no names, no pack drill) is also most impressive. And there is also room for three characteristic songs too, namely "The Daring Young Man", "She's Got Two of Everything", and "I'd Like a Dream Like That", which George renders with his usual genial approach – including some really rapid work on the banjo!