Basil Dearden’s directorial debut was this slapstick comedy from Ealing Studios. Will Hay plays a bumbling schoolteacher William Potts who doubles as a German general for the British Intelligence during the Second World War. Once in Germany he causes chaos in a Hitler Youth college where he is tasked with finding about the latest weapons of mass destruction, 1940s style. Naturally being Will Hay this turns into a hilarious affair where he cleverly masquerades as a teacher, taking the Micky out of the enemy and generally raising national morale with the assistance of college attendees Peter Ustinov and Charles Hawtrey.
Snappily paced and lushly filmed in pristine black and white, the GOOSE is accompanied by British-Gaumont composer Bretton Byrd’s dynamic score. Following on from his role in Marcel Varnel’s comedy The Ghost of St Michael’s (1941) where he plays a teacher hired by a grim school in Scotland, Hay makes brilliant use of his fast-witted comedy skills, ducking and diving between his characters and manipulating the situation to his advantage with a range of funny facial expressions and different accents and illiteration. This is Vintage Ealing at its best and worth adding to the collection. MT
THIS BRAND NEW RESTORATION COMES TO BLURAY AND DVD COURTESY OF STUDIOCANAL AS PART OF THE VINTAGE CLASSICS COLLECTION IN COLLABORATION WITH THE BFI’S UNLOCKING FILM HERITAGE PROGRAMME TO CELEBRATE THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY | 15 MAY 2017
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