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Where's That Fire? (1940)

Will Hay in Where's That Fire?

Released on January 6, 1940: British comedian Will Hay leads an incompetent fire brigade through the hazards of upgrading to a modern station house.

Directed by Marcel Varnel

The Actors: Will Hay (Captain Benjamin Viking), Moore Marriott (Jeremiah Harbottle), Graham Moffatt (Albert Brown), Peter Gawthorne (Fire Chief), Eric Clavering (Hank Sullivan), Hugh McDermott (Jim Baker), Charles Hawtrey (Woodley), Dave O'Toole (postman), Frank Atkinson (town clerk), Clifford Buckton (first driver), George Carney (Councillor), Wilson Coleman (doctor), David Keir (Councillor), Philip Leaver (Chief Crook), Sebastian Smith (Mayor of Bishop's Wallop), Charles Victor (garage owner).


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Will Hay and his two side-kicks are manning an old fashioned (for 1940) fire station that is still using a horse drawn fire truck. When the get called to help with a large fire, they hop on their horse driven fire truck and head off into the night, in search of the fire. Of course, while still looking for the fire the next day, they see a newspaper report of the fire, and it is already out. On return to their station, the town leaders take them to task, and the end result is that they decide to modernize their fire station. For the next few minutes I was laughing uncontrolled at their efforts to cut a hole in the ceiling and installing a fire pole to slide down. The Three Stooges have nothing on these British comics. Slapstick is defined in most Will Hay films, and this one is no exception.

At the same time they are updating their fire station, Will has discovered a formula that can put out fires more quickly than anything ever seen, based on beer and 'ingredient x.' But this isn't enough, it seems that their old fire truck is a near duplicate of the antique fire truck that guards the Crown Jewels, and some crafty thieves arrange to rent their old truck for a day, and use it to rob Britain of her most precious assets. As crisis after crises is badly handled by the boys, all looks lost for them, but in spite of their ineptness, they manage to save the day in the end. You won't need much popcorn for this outrageous comedy classic, you'll be laughing too hard to eat anyway.