1938.Director:Marcel Varnel. Producer:Edward Black. Editor:R.E.Dearing.
Sreenplay:Val Guest & Marriott Edgar.Adaptation:Jack Davies jnr.
Script Editor:Frank Launder. Art Direction:Vetchinsky.
A Gainsborough-Gaumont British Picture.91 mins
This is probably Hay's most astringent comedy, the humour is cutting edge and it is delivered with a fast pace throughout. Hay arrives drunk for his position as the new Governor of Blackdown prison ironically at the same time as a new batch of prisoners are being admitted. Amid some confusion Hay is mistaken for a prisoner & irreproachably becomes Convict 99. He encounters the prisons oldest inmate Jerry the Mole early in the film. Jerry breaks through into Hay's cell from his own next door to greet his new neighbour. Instead of welcoming his new visitor Hay complains 'This is a solitary confinement cell. It's private!' with his usual grimace and sniff. 'Alright sniffy, I 'aint staying where I 'aint welcome' retorts Jerry. The prison mix-up is soon rectified and Hay is put in command of the prison. He sets about making radical changes at the request of the inmates. In come all the creature comforts of cosy armchairs and radios and he even lets the prisoners play the stockmarket.
Hay allows the funds to be placed into his own account and when the entire contents of the Blackdown trust are stolen by the real Convict 99 Max Slessor by way of him altering the amount on a cheque for £50 to £5,000 Hay is threatened with the sack as the prison authorities get wind of his overdrawn bank balance. He decides to try and find Slessor and get his money back. He tracks him down to Slim Charlies cafe. Unbeknown to Hay, Albert the warder decides to release ten of the prisoners to look after Hay in case he gets into any trouble. The prisoners come to his rescue when Slessor tries to escape once again after setting his men on Hay. A fracas develops and the prisoners arrive just in time and overcome Slessor and his men. In the melly Hay spots Jerry the Mole carrying a young screaming Googie Withers (she is one of Max Slessor's criminal aids) up the stairs at Slim Charlies.'Hey!Jerry! Where are you going?' 'to the bedroom' 'eh,what?' '...to lock her in' 'Oh! that's alright then ' replies a some what relieved Hay.
They decide to bust the bank and put the stolen £5,000 back in and alter the books so it looks like it had never been taken out. A role reversal takes place as Hay and the boys dress up as policeman as cover. Once inside the bank Hay instructs Jerry to go look through the letterbox to see if he can see anything suspicious. A little while later Hay decides to check up on Jerry and finds him crouched outside the bank looking through the letterbox into the bank. Hay talks to him through the letterbox. 'Hey, you toothless old faggott, what do you think you are doing?' He quickly pulls Jerry back inside the bank. 'What's the idea standing out there looking in?' 'You told me to look for something suspicious!!' comes the Mole's reply. The bank job is a success and they return to Blackdown prison with the bank balance intact and with Max Slessor the prisoner who took the money