This film is part of Free

Meet the Ovaltineys

A Sunday evening radio ritual for 1930s listeners young and old comes to the cinema screen for your pleasure.

Advert 1940 7 mins


Have you joined the League of Ovaltineys? Then perhaps the cinematic debut of the hugely popular radio show of the 1930s and 40s might tempt you to write to the mysterious Chief Ovaltiney. Millions of children (and their parents) tuned into the commercial Radio Luxembourg on Sunday afternoons to sing along, many of them sporting their bronze member's badge and performing the secret high-sign signal.

Making a filmic version of such a popular radio show seems a logical step, but it meant having to fit into the constraints of the shorter cinema advertising programme. While it is far from MGM standard the production is not cheap, with a nice matte shot of a handsome ship that carries a little girl off to sleep. But the fact that the film appears to have been a one-off suggests it was quickly realised that it is far easier to create "Mushroom Land" in the mind of the listener than on the cinema sound stage.