Watch Old Bones of the River putlocker
||IMDB Rating: 6.6/10 from N/A votes
||Release: 01 Dec 1938 /
||Director: Marcel Varnel,
||Synopsis: In this British comedy, a professor travels up river in Africa to open schools. But his new pupils are not receptive and when the commander of the local base succumbs to malaria, he takes ...
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I've got this in my records as being first broadcast on UK TV on 8th
April 1985, and yet I don't think it was a lost film or that pc
prejudices had held it up until then. I was slightly surprised at the
content of the film and that the BBC showed it even then, and yet it
still seems to appear regularly. The problems are that 1/ it isn't the
1930's anymore, with the British Empire still steaming ahead and 2/
imho the comic genius of Will Hay and the incomparable trio he made
with Moore Marriott and Graham Moffat would have been better served by
sticking them in an ordinary job complete with ridiculous situations
back in Blighty. Why not have had them simply as canal boat operators
and see where the plot took them instead of borrowing from Edgar
The scene is set with the opening caption In Darkest Africa Teaching
the black man to play the white man, with the Western Brothers
exhorting us all to Play The Game. Seedy quasi-missionary schoolmaster
Hay arrives at a British outpost to help civilise the natives,
unbeknownst to him bringing with him guns and booze (the white man's
burden) that a returning educated native M'Bapi is smuggling in with
which to foment trouble. His brother, chief Bosambo the Boot-Licker has
a rather disparaging opinion of him! Hay & Co. get lumbered into
collecting the native taxes, which lead to many hilarious scenes and
classic quips (a lot centring on Hay's views of Harbottle's
cleanliness), and eventually friction and war. Favourite bits: the
sight of Jerry and Albert snuggled up and snoozing in the top bunk as a
strong smell of goats permeates the cabin to wake up Hay below; the
suspicions raised as to whether Hay had fathered a black baby; the
expert repartee that makes this ultimately so worthwhile, unfortunately
amidst many gags that would be considered either racist or racially
patronising in todays perfect world.
Not quite a classic as were so many of Hay's films, but for fans still
sparkling throughout. If you're not a fan or are too serious you may
have a problem with this one!
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