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Ask A Policeman

1939. 83 minutes. Comedy.

Gainssborough Pictures

Story - Sydney Galliat

Screenwriters - Val Guest, Marriott Edgar

Director - Marcel Varnel

Producer - Edward Black


Will Hay - Sergeant Samuel Dudfoot

Graham Moffatt - Albert Brown

Moore Marriott - Jeremiah Harbottle/Harbottle Senior

Glennis Lorimer - Emily Martin

Peter Gawthorne - Chief Constable

Charles Oliver - The Squire

Herbert Lomas - The Coastguard

Brian Worth - Broadcasting Engineer

Patrick Aherne - First Motorist

Desmond Llewelyn - "headless horseman"


Set in the coastal village of Turnbotham Round, "the village without crime".  No one has been arrested in 10 years 5 weeks and 4 days.  So the chief constable decides that the village police force could be disbanded.  Sergeant Dudfoot, Albert and Harbottle desperately set out to make up some crime in order to save their jobs.  They start with speeding motorists, but find it difficult to work out the speed the motorists are travelling at.  They then make up some smuggling, only to discover real smugglers in their village.  Add to this a headless horseman, and it makes for a very exciting and comical film for everyone to enjoy.

My thoughts on the film:

Me and Mrs T found this to be a hilarious film, starring three excellent actors who compliment each other's performances brilliantly.  I must say, the headless horseman did scare me somewhat, but I held on to Mrs T's hand and that helped enormously!  We both thoroughly enjoyed this film and found every scene to be laugh out loud funny, not just the odd chuckle here and there.  In fact, everyone enjoyed it so much, that when the air raid siren went off in the cinema, we all just stayed to carry on watching the film!  We did, with a cup of tea!

The film had everything, crime, comedy, scariness and even a car chase at the end, well, a van and double-decker bus chase!  All lots of fun and very enjoyable indeed.  It only leaves with me one thing more to say:


"When the tide runs low in the devil's cove,

And the headless horseman is seen above,

He drives along with his wild hello,

Lickerty spit, lickerty spit."

                                   Jeremiah Harbottle 1939.

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