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Me and Marlborough (July 23, 1935)

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Me and Marlborough
 

Released on July 23, 1935: A feisty British barmaid pretends to be a man so she can join the Duke of Marlborough to fight the French in Flanders.

Produced by Michael Balcon

Directed by Victor Saville

The Actors: Cicely Courtneidge (Katherine 'Kit' Ross), Tom Walls (John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough), Barry MacKay (Dick Welch), Alfred Drayton (Sergeant Bull), Iris Ashley (Josephine), Ivor McLaren (Sergeant Cummings), Gibb McLaughlin (old soldier), Peter Gawthorne (staff Colonel), Cecil Parker (Colonel of the Greys), George Merritt (Harley), Cyril Smith (Corporal Fox), Mickey Brantford (Ensign Coke), Randle Ayrton (King Louis XIV), Henry Oscar (Goultier), Percy Walsh (Naylor), Donald Calthrop (drunken yokel), Frank Atkinson (soldier), Marcus Barron (unknown), Kenneth Buckley (unknown), Syd Crossley (soldier), Howard Marion-Crawford (unknown), John Mortimer (unknown)

 
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Women at War

I remember a lot of my school history of Penn's Woods, later to be known as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but my knowledge of European history is indeed lacking. It seems that two hundred years ago Britain was at war with France and the battle was raging in Flanders, wherever the heck that is. Our comedy is centered on this war and the men, and at least one woman, who fought on the side of the British. The British fighting men are under the command of John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough on behalf of Queen Anne. The war has been raging for seven years with no end in sight. Young boys are being snatched from the streets of Britain and forced into battle against their will. As the comedy opens Sergeant Cummings and a group of soldiers enter a local pub searching for a deserter who worked at the pub before being taken to war. The feisty barmaid Kit Ross tries to hide the young lad, but the Sergeant finally finds the boy and hauls him off. Kit causes some trouble in the melee and we next find her with her hands and feet in stocks for a week. Her boyfriend Dick arrives to prepare for their wedding and on the wedding day, during the after-wedding party, the same Sergeant tricks Dick into joining Her Majesty's service and they haul him off to fight in Flanders while his new bride is still in the party. As soon as Kitt (short for Katherine) discovers that her new husband has been snatched from her on the eve of her wedding, she decides to find him and bring him back. How does a feisty barmaid from a British pub do that? Of course, she will dress as a man and join the battle, and I quickly learned that one does not take the threats of a determined British barmaid for granted. On the journey of her search for her missing husband she has her ups and downs . . . One moment promoted for her wit and bravery and the next moment facing a firing squad at dawn, but her wit and her brains make her the superior of all the fighting men and she becomes a vital part of the British victory over the French and not only delivers the terms of peace to King Louis XIV, but returns with Lord Marlborough to be honored by Queen Anne before being reunited at last with her new husband. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Alfred Drayton and Ciciely Courtneidge
Alfred Drayton and Ciciely Courtneidge
Alfred Drayton
Alfred Drayton
Barry MacKay and Cicely Courtneidge
Barry MacKay and Cicely Courtneidge
Cicely Courtneidge and Henry Oscar
Cicely Courtneidge and Henry Oscar
Cicely Courtneidge, Tom Walls and Alfred Drayton
Cicely Courtneidge, Tom Walls and Alfred Drayton
Cicely Courtneidge and Tom Walls
Cicely Courtneidge and Tom Walls
Cicely Courtneidge
Cicely Courtneidge
Cicely Courtneidge in the pub
Cicely Courtneidge in the pub
Henry Oscar and Cicely Courtneidge
Henry Oscar and Cicely Courtneidge
Henry Oscar and Tom Walls
Henry Oscar and Tom Walls
Iris Ashley and Barry MacKay
Iris Ashley and Barry MacKay
Iris Ashley and Barry MacKay
Iris Ashley and Barry MacKay
Ivor McLaren and Cicely Courtneidge
Ivor McLaren and Cicely Courtneidge
Ivor McLaren and Iris Ashley
Ivor McLaren and Iris Ashley
Ivor McLaren
Ivor McLaren
Ivor McLaren
Ivor McLaren
Percy Walsh and Tom Walls
Percy Walsh and Tom Walls
Percy Walsh
Percy Walsh
Randle Ayrton
Randle Ayrton
Tom Walls and Cicely Courtneidge
Tom Walls and Cicely Courtneidge