Jack of All Trades (1936 film)

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Jack of All Trades
Jack of All Trades FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Robert Stevenson
Jack Hulbert
Written byHubert Griffith (play)
Paul Vulpius (play)
Jack Hulbert
Austin Melford
J. O. C. Orton
Produced by Michael Balcon
Starring Jack Hulbert
Gina Malo
Robertson Hare
Cinematography Charles Van Enger
Edited by Terence Fisher
Music by Bretton Byrd
Louis Levy
Distributed by Gaumont British Distributors
Release date
30 December 1936
Running time
76 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Jack of All Trades is a 1936 British comedy film directed by Robert Stevenson and Jack Hulbert and starring Hulbert, Gina Malo and Robertson Hare. [1] It is based on the 1934 play Youth at the Helm . The film was made at Islington Studios, with sets designed by Alex Vetchinsky. [2]



Jack, out of work and responsible for an aged mother, takes a succession of jobs, bluffing his way through them all. [3]


Critical reception

Writing for The Spectator in 1936, Graham Greene gave the film a mildly negative review. After giving high praise to the board meeting scene in the first half of the film, and describing it as an "excellent sequence" of "pointed fooling", Greene comments that the remainder of the film "degenerates into nothing but [...] an awful eternal disembodied Cheeriness". [4]

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Youth at the Helm is a Hungarian-language play by Paul Vulpius, the joint pen name of Ladislas Fodor and László Lakatos, which premiered in Budapest in 1933. The play was also staged in Vienna, Austria in 1933 under the title Hau-ruck using a German language translation of Fodor and Lakatos's play by Hans Adler who also adopted the pen name Paul Vulpius. Adler's German language translation was the source material for two different English language translations of the play: Youth At the Helm by Hubert Griffith (1896–1953), used frequently in the United Kingdom during the 1930s, and Help Yourself by John J. Coman for the work's Broadway production in 1936. The play has also been staged using the titles Jugend voran (Germany) and L'affare Kubinsky (Italy). The play served as the basis for the 1936 film Jack of All Trades starring Jack Hulbert.


  1. "Jack of All Trades (1936) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  2. Wood p.86
  3. "Jack of all Trades | BFI | BFI". Explore.bfi.org.uk. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  4. Greene, Graham (6 March 1936). "Rose of the Rancho/Jack of all Trades". The Spectator . (reprinted in: Taylor, John Russell, ed. (1980). The Pleasure Dome . pp.  56–57. ISBN   0192812866.)