February 24, 2017


Good Morning, Boys – 1937 | 78 mins | Comedy | B&W


Plot Synopsis

Good Morning, Boys

A tease opening scene shows a thief apparently cutting the Mona Lisa out of its frame and escaping with it. The scene expands to reveal that it’s a dress rehearsal for the actual robbery, which has to be done in sixteen seconds. Not surprisingly, the only man who can do the job in that time has a son at St Michael’s Academy – and that is where the crack thief himself takes refuge after escaping from prison.

The film contains quintessential Will Hay schoolroom comedy. After a set-to between teacher and pupil, the chairman of the governors (Peter Gawthorne) pays a surprise visit to the class and is baffled by the garbled history lesson with which Hay covers up the betting odds chalked on the blackboard. Asking one of the boys to name six animals found in India, the chairman gets the prompt reply, ‘A tiger and five elephants,’ and when he asks if the pupils have been instructed in the social life of India, Hay replies knowingly, ‘They’re too young for that.’ After this fiasco, Hay can only save his job by getting good results in an inter-school examination. A briefcase mix-up supplies him with the exam papers in advance – and the boys emerge as academic champions in French, with a trip to Paris as a reward. In the party is the disguised thief.

Hay stumbles through primer phrases when the scene shifts to Paris and follows his boys to a night-club where he succumbs to the charms of chanteuse Lilli Palmer. But she is actually working for the Mona Lisa gang by copying the painting. The switch is made in the Louvre – but the boys come to Hay’s rescue and the thieves are routed at an official reception where Hay is expounding his system of teaching based on the zodiac.

Production Team

Marcel Varnel: Director
Alex Vetchinsky: Art Direction
Arthur Crabtree: Cinematography
Alfred Roome: Editing
RE Dearing: Editing
Louis Levy: Music Direction
Edward Black: Producer
Leslie Arliss: Script
Val Guest: Script
Marriott Edgar: Script
Frank Launder: Script Editor


Will Hay: Dr Benjamin Twist
Fewlass Llewellyn: The Dean
Graham Moffatt: Albert
Martita Hunt: Lady Bagshott
Peter Gawthorne: Col Willougby-Gore
Mark Daly: Arty Jones
Peter Godfrey: Cliquot
C Denier Warren: Minister of Education
Lilli Palmer: Yvette
Charles Hawtrey: Septimus
Ronnie Corbett: Schoolboy

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