Brandon Thomas’ British farce has been filmed at least seven times since 1925—and this 1940s version sees everyone’s favourite cheeky chappie, Arthur Askey, giving the classic comedy his own distinctive spin.
One of a series of hit wartime comedies, Charley’s (Big-Hearted) Aunt co-stars Arthur’s partner-in-crime, Stinker (Richard Murdoch), alongside Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt.
Marriott, is perhaps better known for playing Will Hay’s insolent street-savvy sidekick, Albert. Moffatt also made his name playing alongside Hay—as the the cantankerous old man, Harbottle in the likes of Oh, Mr Porter! Their paring with Askey, marks the first of three outings for the team and while Askey is no Hay, the film does capture much of the charm of their earlier appearances.
Arthur, Stinker and Albert – a trio of reprobate students – are in danger of expulsion from Oxford for conduct unbecoming. After due consideration they hatch a cunning plan to save their bacon – the only problem is that it entails convincing the Dean that Arthur is actually Albert’s wealthy Aunt Lucy.
Energetically directed by Walter Forde (who would re-team with Askey and Murdoch a year later for The Ghost Train), this updated version of Brandon Thomas’s uproarious farce is here as a brand-new High Definition remaster from original film elements in its original theatrical aspect ratio.
Charley’s (Big-Hearted) Aunt is the quintessential British comedy—a little dated, but at its core irreverent, silly and, yes, big-hearted. A gem that will be appreciated by collectors and fans a like.
- 1973 Arthur Askey interview .
- 1969 edition of Frost on Saturday featuring Stinker Murdoch.
- Two editions of Jokers Wild from 1970 featuring Arthur Askey.
- Image gallery.
- Limited edition booklet written by Steve Rogers.