This film is part of Free

Music Hath Charms

Pratfalls galore in rib-tickling commercial for Bush radios.

Advert 1935 4 mins


Just married, Mr and Mrs Robinson welcome Mrs Robinson’s mum to the marital home. Cue mother-in-law gags, pointed double-takes and crashing pratfalls galore. All this side-splitting comic entertainment comes courtesy of Bush Radios, manufacturers of the one item in the Robinson household reliably resistant to the slapstick disasters surrounding it.

Some key context is alluded to in the closing titles: film empire Gaumont-British was part-owner of Bush, and well-placed to facilitate production, distribution and exhibition of the cinematic component of the radio firm’s big advertising campaign of 1935. (Fascinatingly, a final add-on title specifying a local dealer is affixed to this print, specific to the Sussex cinema in which it was screened.) The director, Roffe Thompson, is presumably Edward Roffe Thompson, the author and journalist who was married to renowned film critic CA Lejeune; it’s his only known credit for directing a film. John Dighton, on the other hand, was a prolific screenwriter whose name graces, among other things, comedies starring Will Hay and George Formby and many major Ealing films. This short seems to be his first credited script.