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Screevers on Film
Madcap British Comedian Mr Pastry at his best!
A wonderfully simple story of Mr Ningle (Richard Hearne) who lost his job in the City many years ago, but didn’t like to tell the wife
So off he goes to Town each day in his pinstripe and bowler, collects his mail and then changes clothes and works as a pavement artist outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.
Unfortunately Bill Shine (A reporter) is sent by Garry Marsh (Mr Holly) to tail him, as Ningle might not be a suitable father-in-law. When Ningle escapes detection, Shine calls the police.
They find Ningle’s clothes and assume he’s been done in; a suspicious character seen near the scene is of course Ningle himself and the police set out to track Ningle in connection with his own “death”! But it ends with a frantic scooter chase, happily ever after!
Mr Pastry (as TV star Richard Hearne was better known) was primarily a children’s entertainer but this film was made to appeal to all ages.
His biggest rival for madcap frantic comedy of that era was Norman Wisdom who was a more versatile and talented performer but who inclined towards pathos and sentimentality. Mr Pastry was more Chaplinesque – a plucky little chap, deflator of the rich and pompous, quick thinking and quick on his feet.
The story here is rather close to the Sherlock Holmes “Man with the Twisted Lip” but given a modern treatment. Like the Norman Wisdom vehicles, the popularity of the star allowed budgets for a good cast, reasonable script and good production values. In fact the biggest name in the film is uncredited, playing police constable was a young Stanley Baker. This film also starred Dora Bryan as a Waitress.
Something in the City is a somewhat forgotten British film production GEM. For a while Richard Hearne was one of British television’s biggest stars, comparable to today’s Mr Bean. Sadly he has almost completely disappeared from memory along with an early golden age of British television in the 1950s.
The film was digitally re-mastered & restored in 2010 by Renown Pictures Ltd and is currently available on DVD.
Running time 74 minutes: B/W
Researched by Philip Battle