The Law of Contact

Oh Mr. Porter (October 15, 1937)

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Will Hay in Oh, Mr Porter
 

Released on October 15, 1937: (running time 1 hour and 21 minutes) Will Hay is at his comedy best as the station master of the Buggleskelly railroad station that is haunted by the ghost of an angry dead man.

Directed by Marcel Varnel

The Actors: Will Hay (William Porter), Moore Marriott (Jeremiah Harbottle, Deputy Station Master), Graham Moffatt (Albert), Sebastian Smith (Mr. Charles Trimbletow), Agnes Lauchlan (Mrs. Trimbletow), Percy Walsh (Superintendant), Dennis Wyndham (Grogan), Dave O'Toole (the postman), Frank Atkinson (irate Irishman in Barney's Bar), Bryan Herbert (Express Train Guard), Betty Jardine (bit part), Frederick Lloyd (official at opening ceremony), Frederick Piper (Mr. Leadbetter, railway official), Charles Rolfe (express train driver), Beatrice Varley (Barney's Bar landlady)

 

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One-Eyed Joe and the Buggleskkelly Curse

Musician David Gilmour, part of the Pink Floyd rock group, has a private recording studio in a houseboat called “Astoria,” docked on the River Thames at Hampton, Middlesex. That houseboat was originally owned by Fred Karno in the early 1900’s. Fred Karno was a British actor who had a passion for comedy, and in the 1880’s he created ‘Fred Karno’s Army,’ a group of young comedians that performed in his stage shows.

Among the comedians that appeared in the Karno comedy revues were Stan Laurel and Charles Chaplin, who moved on to moving picture shows. Hal Roach, master of American comedy during the first years of motion pictures called Fred Karno the father and originator of slapstick comedy, and no one disagrees with that.

William Thomson Hay was a young lad in Karno’s Comedy Army who could appear to be a funny and dim-witted fool, but when he wasn’t on stage making people laugh, he was an accomplished astronomer. After performing on stage as part of the Karno comedy revue, Will Hay would go home to his telescope and study the heavens. In 1933, four years before making this movie, he was the first astronomer to discover the spot on the planet Saturn.

In the same year that he discovered the spot on Saturn, Will Hay appeared in his first motion picture, and over the next ten years would appear in twenty comedy motion pictures. This story is his ninth motion picture, and in this adventure Will Hay is a fellow who only has a job on the Southern Railroad because of his wealthy sister and her husband.

He is William Porter, who has been fired from every job that he has been given with the railroad because of his incompetence, and now he is given the job of Station Master at the small Northern Ireland town of Buggleskkelly, where every former Station Master has either mysteriously died, or gone insane. It seems that the railroad station has been cursed by a dead man called One-Eyed Joe, and Will Hay is now the new Station Master of the cursed railroad station. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Agnes Lauchlan and Will Hay
Agnes Lauchlan and Will Hay
Betty Jardine
Betty Jardine
Bryan Herbert
Bryan Herbert
Charles Rolfe
Charles Rolfe
David O'Toole
David O'Toole
Dennis Wyndham
Dennis Wyndham
Frederick Piper
Frederick Piper
Graham Moffatt
Graham Moffatt
Percy Walsh and Sebastian Smith
Percy Walsh and Sebastian Smith
Percy Walsh and Sebastian Smith
Percy Walsh and Sebastian Smith
Sebastian Smith and Agnes Lauchlan
Sebastian Smith and Agnes Lauchlan
Will Hay
Jack Elam and Lawrence Tierney in The Bushwhackers
Wilson Coleman
Wilson Coleman