Where There's A Will (August 10, 1936)
Released on August 10, 1936: A miserable failure as a soliciter, Benjamin Stubbins becomes an unwitting accomplice in a bank robbery, before accidentally helping to capture the robbers.
Directed by William Beaudine
Written by Will Hay, Robert Edmunds and William Beaudine from a story by Leslie Arliss and Sidney Gilliat.
The Actors: Will Hay (Benjamin Stubbins), Graham Moffatt (Willie the office boy), H.F. Maltby (Sir Roger Wimpleton), Norma Varden (Lady Margaret Wimpleton), Peggy Simpson (Barbara Stubbins), Gibb McLaughlin (Martin the butler), Gina Malo (Goldie Kelly), Hartley Power (Duke Wilson), Eddie Houghton (Slug Riley), Hal Walters (Nick Harris), John Turnbull (Detective Collins), Sybil Brooke (Mrs. Peabody the landlady), Davina Craig (Lucy the maid), Gordon Begg (Aldrich the butler), Mickey Brantford (Jimmy Burbank), Victor Rietti (maître d'), Pam Downing (Lady smoking at table), Frederick Piper (Joe, the detective taking fingerprints).
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Will Hay was a British comedian that made 18 movies between 1934 and 1943, and this is one of his best. In this one, he plays Benjamin Stubbins, a solicitor without any clients or income. He hasn't paid his young clerk for ages, and his landlady is trying to kick him out of his flat. He is a widower with a young adult daughter who stays with a wealthy aunt and uncle. It's her birthday, but when he visits her he and the butler get drunk and are kicked out of the house before celebrating her birthday.
Back in London, a pick-pocket that is staying in the same place as Benjamin meets another hood that wants to rob a bank, and the pickpocket tells him that he knows a solicitor that is out of town for the weekend that has an office directly above the bank. They decide to break into his office while he is out of town and then cut a hole in the floor to get into the bank below and rob it. Unfortunately he is in the office, after being kicked out of his sister-in-law's country home. The robbers decide to 'hire' Benjamin just to get him out of the way while they use his office to break into the bank.
Benjamin is supposed to be in the robber's fancy hotel room entertaining his daughter and sister-in-law while the robbers do the job, but unexpectedly Benjamin decides to go out and get his daughter a birthday gift, and returns to the office and falls through the hole into the bank, discovering the robbers, and leaving his fingerprints all over the safe. Now implicated, Benjamin is at wits end and doesn't know what to do. Then things get even more tangled when the robber's American girlfriend does a con on the Uncle, and gets invited to the country estate's Christmas party, where Benjamin will also be. Of course you know that he will come out of this adventure on top, with the bank robbers captured, but the journey is a very fun trip, and even though you know that all will end well, you'll enjoy the plot and the humor.