|You'd Be Surprised!|
|Directed by||Walter Forde|
|Written by||Walter Forde|
Harry Fowler Mear
|Produced by||Archibald Nettlefold|
|Edited by||Walter Forde|
|Music by||Paul Mulder|
|Distributed by||Butcher's Film Service|
You'd Be Surprised! is a 1930 British musical comedy film directed by Walter Forde and starring Forde, Joy Windsor and Frank Stanmore.The film was shot at the Nettlefold Studios in Walton. It was made during the transition to sound film. Originally silent, it had synchronised songs and music added. A silent version was also released to cater to cinemas that hadn't converted to sound yet.
After dressing up as a prisoner for a fancy dress party, a songwriter is mistaken for a notorious escaped convict.
Allmovie described it as a "bouncy musical...At one point, the star ventures into Harold Lloyd territory when he finds himself manacled to a huge and surly thug who drags our poor hero all over London. Much of the film suffers from substandard sound recording, though a few innovative audio effects emerge from the cacophony."
A sound film is a motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film. The first known public exhibition of projected sound films took place in Paris in 1900, but decades passed before sound motion pictures became commercially practical. Reliable synchronization was difficult to achieve with the early sound-on-disc systems, and amplification and recording quality were also inadequate. Innovations in sound-on-film led to the first commercial screening of short motion pictures using the technology, which took place in 1923.
The following is an overview of 1929 in film, including significant events, a list of films released and notable births and deaths. This year saw the release of The Broadway Melody, the first major musical film of the sound era, as well as the hosting of the 1st Academy Awards.
Bessie Love was an American-British actress who achieved prominence playing innocent, young girls and wholesome leading ladies in silent and early sound films. Her acting career spanned eight decades—from silent film to sound film, including theatre, radio, and television—and her performance in The Broadway Melody (1929) earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Blackmail is a 1929 British thriller drama film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Anny Ondra, John Longden, and Cyril Ritchard. Based on the 1928 play of the same name by Charles Bennett, the film is about a London woman who is blackmailed after killing a man who tries to rape her.
Phonofilm is an optical sound-on-film system developed by inventors Lee de Forest and Theodore Case in the early 1920s.
Walter Forde was a British actor, screenwriter and director. Born in Lambeth, south London in 1898, he directed over fifty films between 1919 from the silent era through to 1949 in the sound era. He died in Los Angeles, California in 1984.
The Great Gay Road is a 1931 British drama film directed by Sinclair Hill and starring Stewart Rome, Frank Stanmore and Kate Cutler.
The House Opposite is a 1931 British crime film directed by Walter Summers and starring Henry Kendall, Frank Stanmore and Arthur Macrae. It was shot at Elstree Studios outside London. It was based on the 1931 novel The House Opposite by Joseph Jefferson Farjeon. It follows a police officer who pursues a gang of blackmailers.
Wait and See is a 1928 British silent comedy film directed by Walter Forde and starring Frank Stanmore, Pauline Johnson and Sam Livesey.
Houp La! is a 1928 British silent comedy film directed by Frank Miller and starring George Bellamy, Frank Stanmore and Peggy Carlisle. It was loosely based on the 1916 stage musical Houp La! by Hugh E. Wright and Fred Thompson. The film was made at Isleworth Studios in London.
Little Miss London is a 1929 British silent comedy film directed by Harry Hughes and starring Pamela Parr, Frank Stanmore and Reginald Fox. It was made by British Instructional Films at Bushey Studios. The screenplay concerns a business magnate who poses as a poor man while his daughter falls in love with a man posing as an aristocrat.
Three Men in a Cart is a 1929 British silent comedy film directed by Arthur Phillips and starring Frank Stanmore, Joan Morgan and David Dunbar. It was made at Isleworth Studios as a quota quickie for distribution by Universal Pictures. Its plot concerns three friends who discover buried treasure.
What Next? is a 1928 British silent comedy film directed by Walter Forde and starring Forde, Pauline Johnson and Frank Stanmore. It was made at Nettlefold Studios in Walton-on-Thames. There is a copy held at the BFI archive.
Would You Believe It! is a 1929 British silent comedy film directed by Walter Forde and starring Forde, Pauline Johnson and Arthur Stratton. It was made at the Nettlefold Studios in Walton-on-Thames and released as a supporting feature. It was later re-released with added sound effects and music. A British inventor develops a new high-tech tank and is pursued by foreign agents who wish to capture the design.
Red Pearls is a 1930 British silent crime film directed by Walter Forde and starring Lillian Rich, Frank Perfitt and Arthur Pusey. It was made at the Nettlefold Studios in Walton. It was based on the novel Nearer! Nearer! by J. Randolph James. The film was produced just as the change to sound films was taking place in Britain.
Mother Love is a 1916 British silent drama film directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Elisabeth Risdon, Fred Groves and Frank Stanmore.
Love in a Wood is a 1915 British silent comedy film directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Gerald Ames, Elisabeth Risdon and Kenelm Foss. The film is a contemporary-set version of William Shakespeare's play As You Like It.
That's a Good Girl is a 1933 British comedy film directed by Jack Buchanan and starring Buchanan, Elsie Randolph and Dorothy Hyson. The film was based on a musical show of the same title that opened at the Lewisham Hippodrome on 19 March 1928, in which Jack Buchanan also starred. The music was written by Joseph Meyer and Phil Charig, with lyrics by Douglas Furber. The film omitted much of music of the original show, but popularised one song in particular, Fancy our Meeting. The sone remained a Jack Buchanan favourite and a version of it was also recorded by Al Bowlly shortly after the film's release.
Chamber of Horrors is a 1929 British silent horror film directed by Walter Summers and starring Frank Stanmore and Elizabeth Hempel. It was made at Welwyn Studios. Film historians consider this movie the last major silent film made in England.
Squibs' Honeymoon is a 1923 British silent comedy film directed by George Pearson and starring Betty Balfour, Hugh E. Wright and Fred Groves. It was the last of the silent film series featuring the character, although Balfour returned to play her in the 1935 sound film Squibs. Both Pearson and Balfour were particular favourites of the British film critic, and later leading screenwriter, Roger Burford. In his first article for the magazine Close Up Burford would write "Not long ago a film of the Squibbs series was reported to be on at a small cinema in a slum district. It was a rare chance, and we went at once. We were not disappointed: the film was English, with proper tang; the tang of Fielding or Sterne.' Burford's comments help place the Squibbs films perfectly in British culture between the wars. They were very much working-class comedy, drawing on a vernacular, performative tradition, but at the same time their "Englishness" is characteristic of the kinds of satirical comedies found in the novels of Henry Fielding and Laurence Sterne. That earthy satire, based on everyday life, made these comedies unpalatable to middle class audiences but the Squibbs films were amongst the most interesting, and well shot, films in Britain in the 1920s.