All In!

UK 1936, 71 mins
Director: Marcel Varnel

+ intro by film historian Mark Newell

The Aldwych farce was born 100 years ago, sparking a hugely successful series of British stage comedies and, with the advent of sound, launching the film careers of its stars. All In! features founding farceur Ralph Lynn as the monocled hero who acquires a wrestling club while trying to appease his prudish aunt. But the plot is not the thing – it’s the knockabout comedy and Lynn’s humorous dithering through a string of difficulties that generate the fun. Look out for legendary TV director Joan Kemp-Welch in a small role.

A contemporary review
Slapstick sporting farce. Archie Scott, a well-meaning but foolish young man, who has been brought up by his maiden aunt Genesta, is left a racing stable. Aunt Genesta decides that it shall be turned into a holiday home for working girls. Archie goes to the stables and meets Kay, who is helping train his horse ‘The Taint’ for the Derby. Calling to collect a debt at an all-in wrestling stadium he is cheated by the owner into buying it. Archie finds his new possession distinctly embarrassing. How he deals with it, and is dealt with by it, how he loses the Derby but finds romance, and how his financial difficulties are smoothed out, make up a farce in which the movement is swift, the gags amusing and well put over, and the climax hilarious slapstick.

The direction is thoroughly efficient. The most in the way of laughs is got out of every situation, and none is unduly prolonged. With so much that is in its own way thoroughly entertaining, it is to be regretted that there are one or two less satisfactory elements. The dialogue is in the main bright and amusing, but there are a number of quite unnecessary Doubles entendres. The burlesquing of parish workers is so extravagant as to be quite remote from reality, but the placing of two clergymen, ‘a Dean and his curate,’ in a thoroughly undignified and ridiculous situation is in doubtful taste. The acting reaches a high level. Ralph Lynn has a part after his own heart; he is in his element, and thoroughly amusing in his own particular way. Sydney Fairbrother has not a great deal to do but does it skilfully. Gina Malo makes an attractive Kay and Claude Dampier gives a characteristic performance. The technical qualities are of a very high order.
Monthly Film Bulletin, November 1936

Claude Deputises
Comedy short featuring Claude Dampier as a hapless pianist.

Directed by: R.E. Jeffrey
Presented by: British International Pictures
Distributed by: Wardour Films
Photography by: E. Palmer
Sound Recordist: C.H. Monks
Recorded by the: RCA Photophone
Made and Recorded at: Elstree Studios

Claude Dampier (the pianist)
Billy Carlyle (Miss Carlyle)

UK 1930
11 mins

Directed by: Marcel Varnel
A Gainsborough Picture
Presented by: Gaumont-British Picture Corporation
Controlled by: Gaumont British Distributors Ltd.
Producer: Michael Balcon *
Screen Play and Dialogue: Leslie Arliss, Val Guest
Additional Dialogue: Bernard Merivale
Adapted from Tattenham Corner by: Brandon Fleming, Bernard Merivale
Photography: Arthur Crabtree
Editing: Alfred Roome
Art Direction: Vetchinsky
Musical Direction: Louis Levy
Sound Recording: W. Salter
Sound System: British Acoustic Film
Studio: Gainsborough Studios

Ralph Lynn (Archie Slott)
Sydney Fairbrother (Genesta Slott)
Robert Nainby (Eustace Slott)
Gina Malo (Kay Toop)
Claude Dampier (Samuel Toop)
Gibb McLaughlin (Reverend Cuppleditch)
Graham Brown (Sir James Santor)
Joan Kemp-Welch (Agnes Santor)
O.B. Clarence (Hemingway)
Jack Barty (Ting-a-ling Tom)
Garry Marsh (John Lillywhite)
Glennis Lorimer (Kitty)
Fewlass Lewellyn (Dean of Plinge)
Jack Pye, Jan Gotch, Bob Gregory, Rough-House King Curtis, Mike Sullivan, Legs Langevin, Chopper Sims, Leo Wax (all-in wrestlers)
Graham Moffatt (boy on slot machine) *
Edgar Driver (Blenkinsop) *

UK 1936
71 mins

* Uncredited

A BFI National Archive print

Projecting the Archive: All In! + intro by film historian Mark Newell + Claude Deputises
Tue 13 Sep 18:20
Experimenta: Journeys from Berlin/1971 + introduction by Michelle Pierson, Senior Lecturer in Film at Kings College
Wed 14 Sep 18:00
Woman with a Movie Camera: Preview: Silent Land (Cicha ziemia)
Mon 19 Sep 18:00
Film Wallahs: Malam + discussion hosted by Anuj Radia from Film Wallahs
Thu 22 Sep 18:10
Relaxed Screening: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies de Cherbourg) + intro and discussion
Mon 26 Sep 18:20
BFI Flare: Bent 25th Anniversary + Q&A with director Sean Matthias, actor Sir Ian McKellen and writer Martin Sherman
Tue 27 Sep 18:10
Terror Vision: The Sender
Thu 29 Sep 18:10
Madly, Deeply: A Celebration of Alan Rickman, hosted by Mark Kermode
Sun 2 Oct 16:00
Truly Madly Deeply
Sun 2 Oct 18:20

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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
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