1938.Director:Marcel Varnel. Producer:Edward Black.
Sreenplay:J.O.C. Orton. Dialogue:Marriott Edgar & Val Guest
Script Editor:Frank Launder. Editor:R.E.Dearing
Story by Howard Irving Young,Ralph Spence & Jack Swain
Musical Direction:Louis Levy.Music:Cecil Milner. Art Direction:Vetchinsky.
A Gainsborough Picture.Distributed by Gaumont British. 90mins
This was Hay's first film attempt after his separation from his usual comic partners of Graham Moffatt & Moore Marriott. Edgar Kennendy, the American comedian stars alongside Will, in a film that was really aimed at the American market in an attempt to get Will Hay accepted by the American cinema audience.
After a series of mistaken identities, Hay is left on board a ocean liner bound for American shores, and through no fault of his own is mistaken for a prominent professor. Edgar Kennedy is on board, and is a stowaway. He is part of a gang of crooks who plan to kidnap a millionaires son who is on the ocean liner with his parents, returning back to the States after visiting England. The crooks plan to hold the boy to ransom.
Hay is hired to teach the millionaires son, his parents believing him to be a famous historian. Hay sets about his work whilst on the ship. He gets into an argument with the boy over a matter of history. 'Let me tell you that England fought some of the most important battles in history....and won the lot!!' 'What about when she fought America?' asks the boy. The startled Hay pauses for a while before announcing 'Ah, well. That was only our second eleven, playing away!!'
The topic moves on to English Kings. Hay states that 'Alfred was the King of Mercia and one day he was sitting in a cave and he saw a spider' 'That was Robert the Bruce' interupts the boy. 'I know it was Robert the Bruce' replies a uncertain Hay. 'I'm not talking about the same spider. This was another one. The spider that Alfred The Great saw was an English spider, where as the one that the Bruce saw came from Glasgow!'
Later in the film the boy is kidnapped by the gang and they send a ransom note demanding $50,000. Hay is entrusted with the $50,000 ransom money by the boys parents, and he sets about to make the transaction. He arrives at the park, where he is to leave the money late in the evening, and sets about looking for his contact. He spots a pretty girl sat on the park bench, and thinking she might be the contact he approaches her carrying the money in a brown paper bag. He sits down next to her and exclaims 'I say, are you waiting for a man with a lot of money?' She turns to Hay and strikes her right hand across his face and we see Hay looking non the wiser for what he has just imparted from his lips.
Edgar Kennedy arrives at the park to collect the money for his gang and we find our hapless duo caught in the middle, as another gang tries to muscle in on the action. It is left to Hay to rescue the boy from the kidnappers which he manages to do successfully, whilst also retrieving the ransom money.