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Will Hay - Oh Mr. Porter! / Convict 99 [DVD] 
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A Will Hay double bill. In 'Oh, Mr Porter!' bungling station master William Porter (Hay) is appointed to the run down station of Buggleskelly in Ireland by the resentful Superintendent. When he charters an early morning train for a sinister one-eyed man, his staff, Harbottle (Moore Marriott) and Albert (Graham Moffatt) are suspicious. They investigate, and discover that arms smugglers are using a deserted railway tunnel as a base. Whilst in 'Convict 99' disgraced teacher Benjamin Twist (Hay) finds himself put in charge of a prison for hardened criminals when he is mistaken for a tough prison governor. When he celebrates by getting drunk, Twist ends up behinds bars himself.
Though he gets solo above-the-title billing, Will Hay was no more a solo comedian than Groucho Marx. Teamed with sidekicks Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt the trio formed one of British cinema's greatest comedy gangs. Oh, Mr Porter!, one of their finest vehicles, finds Hay as congenial William Porter, an inept railway worker who is shunted off to the dead-end job of stationmaster in Buggleskelly, Northern Ireland. The delight of the film is in the interplay between Hay and Marriott, the single-toothed dotty old-timer, and Moffatt, the chubby smart kid, as they fail the most basic requirements of their jobs but come up trumps when investigating the ghost of One-Eyed Joe and his haunted mill. --Kim Newman
One of Will Hay's brisker comic efforts, 1936's Convict 99 sees Dr Benjamin Twist, Hay's clueless schoolmaster, caught in a case of mistaken identity and invited to head up a prison for especially hard-boiled criminals. It's a typical outtake from Hay's bizarrely lawless universe in which, for all his harrumphing and bluster, he's unable to exercise any sort of discipline whatsoever over the men in his charge. Hay plays exactly the same character from film to film, one so ill-equipped for any situation he's equally suited for all. Whereas Twist is an incompetent who somehow muddles through, Hay the comic actor is a master of timing and double-takes who knows precisely how to create the air of a shambles. --David StubbsSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
William Porter is an inept railway worker who keeps getting fired from his various positions in the industry. In spite of his dubious record he gets sent to dead end station Buggleskelly, Northern Ireland, a place where many of the previous station masters have met mysterious ends.
"Every night when the moon gives light, the miller's ghost is seen..
He walks the track, a sack on his back, and his ear hole painted green..
He haunts the tunnel, he haunts the hill and the land that lies between...."
Bumbling buffoonery from the dynamite comic team of Will Hay, Moore Marriott, and Graham Moffatt. Set in the fictional Irish town of Buggleskelly, the film never lets up the chuckles from first reel to last. From the ramshackle way the guys run their, ahem, ramshackle rail station, to the wonderful array of characters they come across. The film perfectly fuses mirthful double takes with a decidedly mysterious undertone. Playing very much on spooky superstition, gun running baddies and trusty railway fables, Oh Mr. Porter! delivers to the audience pure unadulterated entertainment that's been crisply put together.
Local conditions would appear to be peculiar!
It's co-written by a fine team consisting of Frank Launder, J.O.C. Orton, Val Guest and Marriott Edgar, and once more Marcel Varnel is on hand to direct the nutty trio to one of their greatest achievements. Tho this trio of "workers" are clearly unable to run a rail station properly, which of course give us the viewers some excellent character comedy moments, they are not found wanting in the detective stakes.Read more ›
When Porter arrives in Ireland, he is informed of the local legend of One Eyed Joe, a phantom miller who haunts the station and, as a result, nobody will go near the station after dark. Porter also discovers that the station is in a dilapidated state, run by elderly deputy stationmaster Jeremiah Harbottle and his impudent younger colleague Albert Brown, who make a living by stealing food from railway customers.
Porter demands that the station's reputation needs to be improved and he attempts to do so by stopping an express and by organising an excursion. After selling some tickets to a one-eyed man who introduces himself as Joe and who claims to be taking a football team to a match, the excursion disappears down an erstwhile branch line. Porter tracks down the "football team" to a disused railway tunnel, where they discover that the footballers are gun runners! After being captured by the smugglers in One Eyed Joe's windmill, Porter, Harbottle and Albert are in desperate need of escaping the windmill and capturing the smugglers. Will they succeed?
"Oh, Mr Poter" is over 70 years old and shows no sign of ever getting tedious. Will Hay didn't even have to crack a joke to be funny - quite simply, he was a natural, as were Graham Moffatt (Albert) and Moore Marriott (Harbottle). It is not only a must for railway enthusiasts everywhere, but also for all comedy lovers. It appeals to people of all ages, from just five years old to 95 years old. If you're in need of a good laugh with no profanity or anything obscene of any kind whatsoever, then I highly recommend this!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classic Will Nay film. Brings a smile to your face on a rainy day.Published 1 day ago by Sylveann