Never did Cavalcanti's misspent avant-garde youth fuse more fascinatingly with his mature flair for melodrama than in this entrancingly flamboyant celebration of the English music hall. Trinder's slyly innocent rendering of 'Everything will be lovely when the pigs begin to fly' is interrupted by a riot and a pair of bizarre female jugglers, Holloway's Great Vance has a luminous vitality which verges on the surreal, and Warren's larger-than-life Bessie Bellwood subversively drowns aristocratic disdain in a sea of sensuous vulgarity. The atmosphere of cosy communality that permeates the film leaves little room for the grim poverty which surrounded the real music halls, but Cavalcanti happily sacrifices realism to create a monument to popular culture.
Cast and crew
Austin Melford, Angus Macphail, John Dighton
Tommy Trinder Stanley Holloway Betty Warren Austin Trevor Jean Kent Guy Middleton