Ask a Policeman (1939)

Genres - Comedy, Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Farce, Police Comedy  |   Release Date - Aug 28, 1939 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - UK  |  
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Matchless British comedy star Will Hay, he of the supercilious sniff and ill-fitting pince-nez, stars in Ask a Policeman, a follow-up to Hay's successful 1938 comedy-thriller Oh, Mr. Porter. Once again, the incompetent Hay is transferred to a place where he'll do the least amount of harm. This time he's an inept police sergeant, shipped away to a sleepy rural village where no crime has occurred for years. Bored out of his gourd, Hay, together with his perennial stooges Graham Moffatt (fat and cheeky) and Moore Marriott (toothless and senile), plots to "create" a crime wave by leaving a keg of brandy unprotected. They plan to arrest the first person who appropriates the keg and charge him with smuggling. Not surprisingly, the gleesome threesome runs afoul of genuine smugglers. As with most of the best Will Hay comedies of the 1930s, Ask a Policeman is top-heavy with behind-the-scenes talent: among the screenwriters were director Val Guest and frequent Hitchcock collaborator Sidney Gilliat. Best bit: Moore Marriot's rambling recitation of an ancient ghost legend.

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police-officer, smuggling, village