Review: ‘My Learned Friend’

An amusing vehicle for Will Hay, minus his former stooges. This time his associate is Claude Hulbert as a budding lawyer sacked for failing to convict Hay on a charge of writing begging letters.

An amusing vehicle for Will Hay, minus his former stooges. This time his associate is Claude Hulbert as a budding lawyer sacked for failing to convict Hay on a charge of writing begging letters.

Picture is slickly directed, never drags, and has a plausible excuse for many comic and improbable incidents. A released convict has it in for Hay, in reality a disbarred lawyer, for failing to save him from a forgery sentence, and with a maniacal look implies he intends rubbing out six people responsible for his incarceration, from the judge down to Hay himself.

Highlight is a chase to prevent Big Ben from striking 12, when a mechanical devise set by the unhinged avenger will blow up the House of Lords, to whose final judgment he was not allowed to appeal. Clever photography, showing the trio dodging around the interior workings of the famous clock and clinging by their eyebrows to the face and hands suspended over Westminster, makes for hilarious excitement.

My Learned Friend

UK

Production

Ealing. Director Basil Dearden; Producer Michael Balcon; Screenplay Angus Macphail, John Dighton; Camera Wilkie Cooper; Editor Charles Hasse; Music Ernest Irving

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1943. Running time: 80 MIN.

With

Will Hay Claude Hulbert Mervyn Johns
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