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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Determined to keep an eye on his lady love (Judy Kelly), eccentric Richard Hearne disguises himself as their new butler, not realizing that the name he's used and look is exactly that of a con-artist. Since Kelly's father (the imperious Francis L. Sullivan) can't stand him, this is the only way he can be near her, and as a bumbling butler who can't buttle, Hearne also has to be wary of Sullivan's eccentric sister (Hermoine Gingold) who had past dealings with the real deal. What sounds simple as a plot is a convoluted mess that only shines thanks to a small number of its cast, and then it's only really a curiosity rather than anything memorable. I knew of this film mainly because of Gingold's presence in it, and she's pretty bland when compared to some of the later eccentrics she's played. Hearne gets a few funny moments of pantomime and acrobatics and it shows that he could have been much better in this had it had a much better script. Sullivan, an expert in playing pompous villains and authority figures, adds another interesting character to his resume, but somehow I assume that this is the type of role he (as well as Gingold) could play in his sleep.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm surprised that no-one has yet reviewed this title for IMDb. It stars the extremely popular acrobatic comedian, Richard Hearne (take no notice of the rather odd cast placings listed by IMDb), who scored a bit hit on TV with "Mr. Pastry". And better still, it's available in an excellent print -- or at least it WAS available -- on a VintageFilmBuff DVD. Hearne does some marvelous tumbles in this one (right in front of the camera too) and he is supported, not only by a clever script but a really first-rate support cast headed by the lovely Judy Kelly and delightfully waspish Hermione Gingold. Although he disappears for most of the Third Art (his running is taken by spic and span Ian Fleming at his Doctor Watsonish best), Francis L. Sullivan has a grand time in a role that was originally designed for Charles Laughton. In fact, it is Sullivan -- not Hearne -- who has the actual curtain line, "By all means!" True, the words themselves are not particularly funny, but the highly amusing way Sullivan puts them across must rank as one of his choicest moments in the cinema. Finally, I cannot go without commending the inspired comedy team of Wally Patch and Ronald Shiner who put a lot of fun into the Third Act. Briskly directed throughout by Leslie Hiscott, "The Butler's Dilemma" never fails to entertain from its trick opening through to Francis L. Sullivan's cut and polished curtain.
  • Richard Hearne was an extremely acrobatic comedian who was best know for his comic old man "Mr Pastry".It clearly owed much of its origins to the music hall.So today most of the comedy look rather quaint and outdated and sadly rather unfunny.The story is almost pointless and at times unintelligible.There are some very good actors who are spent very much wasting their time in this dross.There are fans of Hearne who will enjoy this film but they are rather a minority,however I am sure that they will enjoy watching their hero in is his prime.Otherwiseif you are one of the majority you will undoubtedly feel that your time was wasted.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    THE BUTLER'S DILEMMA is a comic vehicle for star Richard Hearne, once upon a time a famous personality but these days long forgotten. He was a knockabout comic star, a little like Norman Wisdom albeit older (although not much wiser). Hearne is forced to impersonate a butler for a friend, played by the reliable Henry Kendall, in order that he might secretly hold a gambling party.

    The comedy that follows is extremely lukewarm and more than a little dated. I like slapstick humour but there isn't a great deal of it here; it's more about dialogue-based humour that hasn't survived the test of time too well. In addition this is a cheap and static movie, understandable given that it was made during the difficult war years. The best thing about it is the comic double act of Wally Patch and Ronald Shiner in support as a couple of soldiers.