Under Your Hat

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Under Your Hat
"Under Your Hat" (1940).jpg
Original British trade ad
Directed by Maurice Elvey
Written by Rodney Ackland
Anthony Kimmins
Arthur Macrae
Geoffrey Kerr
Jack Hulbert
Based onmusical play Under Your Hat by Arthur Macrae
Produced byIvor McLaren
Jack Hulbert
Starring Jack Hulbert
Cicely Courtneidge
Austin Trevor
Leonora Corbett
Cinematography Mutz Greenbaum
Edited by Edward B. Jarvis
Music by Lew Stone
Distributed by British Lion
Release date
  • 1 September 1940 (1940-09-01)
Running time
79 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Under Your Hat is a 1940 British musical comedy spy film directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Jack Hulbert, Cicely Courtneidge and Austin Trevor. [1]



The film was an independent production made at Isleworth Studios. [2] It was based on a popular stage musical starring Hulbert and Courtneidge, a husband-and-wife team who had made a series of successful comedy films during the 1930s. [3] The sets were designed by art director James A. Carter. Musical numbers included "Can't Find That Tiger" sung by The Rhythm Brothers. [4]


The film is set in pre-Second World War England where a leading film star Jack Millett and his wife Kay attempt to recover a secret carburettor stolen by enemy agents. Suspicious that Jack may be embarking on an affair with his glamorous co-star Carole Markoff, Kay follows him to the South of France, where in fact he is due to receive the carburettor from a contact at a night club, as he has actually been recruited as an undercover man for the government. (There is a literary pun when the secret agent bringing the parcel, assuming Kay knows all about the identification code and is due to meet him, says dramatically "You are She", and Kay replies "Really? I didn't know I looked so Haggard.") Eventually, the parcel is retrieved, Markoff is revealed as a spy, and Jack and Kay fly back to London with the carburettor.


Critical reception

TV Guide found the film "redolent of the Thin Man series, with the added fillip of the musical-stage talent, but lacking the charisma of the stars of that series"; [4] while Sky Movies wrote, "although Jack Hulbert and Cicely Courtneidge had passed their mid-Thirties' peaks as box-office attractions when they made this film version of one of their hit stage shows, it does mark something of a return to form for both of them, with a lively if improbable plot involving spies, and the two stars cheerfully indulging their penchant for disguise. Glynis Johns has a small supporting role, and sharp eyes may catch a glimpse of the young Terry-Thomas." [5]

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  1. Murphy p.203
  2. "Under Your Hat (1940)". BFI. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012.
  3. "Production of Under Your Hat - Theatricalia". theatricalia.com.
  4. 1 2 "Under Your Hat". TVGuide.com.
  5. "Under Your Hat". Find and Watch.