|Old Bones of the River|
|Directed by||Marcel Varnel|
|Written by|| Marriott Edgar |
J. O. C. Orton
|Starring|| Will Hay |
|Edited by|| R. E. Dearing |
|Distributed by||General Film Distributors|
Old Bones of the River is a comedy film released in 1938 starring British actor Will Hay with Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt and directed by Marcel Varnel, based on the characters created by Edgar Wallace. The film is a spoof of the 1935 movie Sanders of the River .
Hay plays Professor Benjamin Tibbetts, representative of the Teaching & Welfare Institution for the Reformation of Pagans (otherwise known as T.W.I.R.P for short), and dedicated to spreading education amongst the natives of colonial Africa. Professor Tibbetts is the uncle of Wallace's character Lt Tibbetts, known as "Bones", so the Professor is referred to as "Old Bones".
As he arrives (still trying to learn the native language via recordings), Professor Tibbetts is tricked into sneaking a gin still into the country by Prince M'Bapi, half-brother of Bosambo, chief of the Ochori tribe. The steamer that brings him takes Commissioner Sanders on leave, with Captain Hamilton taking over his duties.
Later, Tibbetts makes his way to Kombooli High, where his students wear Eton collars alongside their native garb. Tibbetts dons a mortarboard but wears safari shorts under his gown owing to the heat.
When Hamilton falls ill with a dose of malaria, Tibbetts is forced to take over his duties, which include collecting the taxes. Travelling upriver by canoe, he finds Sanders' paddlesteamer the Zaire, operated by Harbottle (Moore Marriott) and Albert (Graham Moffatt).
M'Bapi leads a revolt against Bosambo, and the threesome rescue a baby from death by sacrifice.
William Thomson Hay was an English comedian who wrote and acted in a schoolmaster sketch that was popular all over the world, and later transferred to the screen, where he also played other authority figures with comic failings. His film Oh, Mr. Porter! (1937), made by Gainsborough Pictures, is often cited as the supreme British-produced film-comedy, and in 1938 he was the third highest-grossing star in the UK. Many famous comedians have acknowledged him as a major influence. Hay was also a keen amateur astronomer.
Oh, Mr Porter! is a 1937 British comedy film starring Will Hay with Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt and directed by Marcel Varnel. While not Hay's commercially most successful, it is probably his best-known film to modern audiences. It is widely acclaimed as the best of Hay's work, and a classic of its genre. The film had its first public showing in November 1937 and went on general release on 3 January 1938. The plot of Oh, Mr Porter was loosely based on the Arnold Ridley play The Ghost Train. The title was taken from Oh! Mr Porter, a music hall song.
Graham Victor Harold Moffatt was an English comedic character actor. He is best known for a number of films where he appeared with Will Hay and Moore Marriott as 'Albert': a plump cheekily insolent street-savvy youth.
George Thomas Moore Marriott was an English character actor best remembered for the series of films he made with Will Hay. His first appearance with Hay was in the film Dandy Dick (1935), but he was a significant supporting performer in Hay's films from 1936 to 1940, and while he starred with Hay during this period he played a character called "Harbottle" that was based on a character Marriott usually played. His character Harbottle was originally created by Hay when he used the character in his "The fourth form at St. Michael's" sketches in the 1920s.
Ask a Policeman is a 1939 British comedy film directed by Marcel Varnel and starring Will Hay, Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt.
Dandy Dick is a 1935 British comedy film starring Will Hay. It was based on the 1887 play Dandy Dick by Arthur Wing Pinero. It is the second and last of his films to be based on a play by Arthur Wing Pinero – the first was Those Were the Days which was based on The Magistrate. Moore Marriott, who played an uncredited role in the film, later became a famous foil to Hay in films later on alongside Graham Moffatt, it was during the film of Dandy Dick that Marriott introduced the idea of being a supporting player to Hay.
Good Morning, Boys! is a 1937 British comedy film directed by Marcel Varnel and featuring Will Hay, Graham Moffatt, Martita Hunt, Lilli Palmer and Peter Gawthorne. It was made at the Gainsborough Studios in Islington.
Back-Room Boy is a 1942 British comedy film directed by Herbert Mason, produced by Edward Black for Gainsborough Pictures and starring Arthur Askey, Googie Withers, Graham Moffatt and Moore Marriott. The original story was written by J.O.C. Orton. A man from the Met Office is sent to a lighthouse on a remote Scottish island to monitor the weather, where he hopes to escape from women, but soon finds the island overrun by them.
The Ghost of St. Michael's is a 1941 British comedy-thriller film, produced by Ealing Studios.
Charley's (Big-Hearted) Aunt is a 1940 British comedy film directed by Walter Forde, starring Arthur Askey and Richard Murdoch as Oxford 'scholars'.
Convict 99 is a 1938 British comedy film directed by Marcel Varnel and starring British comedian Will Hay and Googie Withers.
Windbag the Sailor is a 1936 British comedy film directed by William Beaudine and starring Will Hay. The film marked the first appearance of Hay with Graham Moffatt and Moore Marriott acting as his straight men, however both Moffatt and Marriott had previously acted separately in films starring Hay, namely in Dandy Dick and Where There's a Will, respectively.
Where There's a Will is a 1936 British comedy film directed by William Beaudine and starring Will Hay, Graham Moffatt and Norma Varden. It features an incompetent solicitor who unwittingly becomes party to a bank robbery.
Where's That Fire? is a 1940 British comedy film, produced by Twentieth Century Fox, directed by Marcel Varnel and starring Will Hay, Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt. It was the last film Will Hay made with his most famous comic foils, Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt.
Sanders of the River is a 1935 British film directed by the Hungarian-British director, Zoltán Korda, based on the stories of Edgar Wallace. It is set in Colonial Nigeria. The lead Nigerian characters were played by African Americans Paul Robeson and Nina Mae McKinney. The film proved a significant commercial and critical success, giving Korda the first of his four nominations for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival.
I Thank You is a 1941 black and white British comedy film directed by Marcel Varnel and starring Arthur Askey, Richard Murdoch, Graham Moffatt and Moore Marriott. It was produced by Edward Black at Gainsborough Pictures.
Dr Benjamin Twist is a recurring fictional character who appears in several films featuring comedian Will Hay, who portrays the character in all mediums.
Death Drums Along the River is a 1963 British-German international co-production, using the characters from Edgar Wallace's 1911 novel Sanders of the River and Zoltán Korda's 1935 film based on the novel, but placed in a totally different story. Filmed on location in South Africa, it features Richard Todd and Marianne Koch leading a cast of British, German and South African actors. The film was the first feature film of British producer Harry Alan Towers.
Cheer Boys Cheer is a 1939 British comedy film directed by Walter Forde and starring Nova Pilbeam, Edmund Gwenn, Jimmy O'Dea, Graham Moffatt, Moore Marriott and Peter Coke.
Hi Gang! is a 1941 British comedy film directed by Marcel Varnel and starring Bebe Daniels, Ben Lyon and Vic Oliver.