Jumping for Joy

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Jumping for Joy
"Jumping For Joy" (1956).jpg
Original campaign book
Directed by John Paddy Carstairs
Produced by Raymond Stross
Written byHenry Blyth
Jack Davies
Starring Frankie Howerd
Stanley Holloway
Joan Hickson
Lionel Jeffries
Music by Larry Adler
Cinematography Jack E. Cox
Edited by John D. Guthridge
Distributed by The Rank Organisation
Release date
21 February 1956
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Jumping for Joy is a 1956 British comedy film directed by John Paddy Carstairs and starring Frankie Howerd, Stanley Holloway, Joan Hickson and Lionel Jeffries.



Willie Joy (Frankie Howerd) works at a greyhound track as a cleaner, which involves his picking up droppings from the dog track between races. He is tricked into standing in the line of the lure and falls on it as it speeds passed with the dogs chasing it. He gets fired. This times itself with a useless dog also being let go by an owner (Bert Benton) and Joy plays a small sum and takes it home. His landlady is less than pleased at a dog in his room and evicts him.

He meets Captain Montague (Stanley Holloway) and together they hatch a plan to make money from the dog. They give it the name of "Lindy Lou".

To play the part Joy steals a top hat and tails to wear to the races at White City Stadium (London). When Lindy starts to prove herself at the trials Benton wants to buy her back.

Wandering around the East End he foolishly enters a snooker hall and flashes £20 around. A pretty girl tries to hustle him out of the money by playing a snooker set. Various crooks use Joy as an unwitting collaborator in fixing races and placing large bets.

The crooks pass doped meat to be given to the dog but Joy and Montague eat it themselves. The crooks find them asleep but cannot find the dog. They detach the Captain's railway carriage home and move it onto an active railway line. When they awake they are told by a local that they are near Doncaster. The dog is rescued just before the carriage is hit by a train. They re-encounter Lord and Lady Cranfield (from whom he earlier stole the suit) and they give him a lift to the White City.

Lindy Lou wins the Gold Cup but only due to a distraction in crowd as Joy hits a policeman to ensue a whistle is blown. He is arrested and recognises the distinctive shoes of Haines of Scotland Yard as the ringleader of the crooks.

He also gets mixed up with criminals who want to fix the race by doping dogs. [1] [2] The greyhound in the film called Lindy Lou was actually a racing greyhound called Moyshna Queen from Wandsworth Stadium. [3]


Critical reception

Halliwell's Film and Video Guide 2000 describes the film as a "totally predictable star comedy which needs livening up" [4] and the Time Out Film Guide 2009 describes the film as "lame". [5] While TV Guide called the film a "Sporadically funny comedy". [6]

Musical score

The New York Times noted, "the delightful harmonica score in Jumping for Joy is provided by American expatriate Larry Adler". [7]

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  1. "BFI | Film & TV Database | JUMPING FOR JOY (1956)". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 16 April 2009. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  2. Hal Erickson (2014). "Jumping-for-Joy - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times . Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  3. Genders, Roy (1981). The Encyclopedia of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN   07207-1106-1.
  4. John Walker (ed.) Halliwell's Film and Video Guide, London: HarperCollins, 1999, p.443
  5. John Pym (ed.) Time Out Film Guide 2009, LOndon: Ebury: 2008, p.552
  6. "Jumping For Joy Review". Movies.tvguide.com. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  7. Hal Erickson (2014). "Jumping-for-Joy - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times . Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.