This film is an adaptation of the Brandon Thomas stage perennial Charley's Aunt, starring bespectacled British radio comedian Arthur Askey. Since Askey's professional nickname was "Big-Hearted Arthur", and since another CHARLEY'S AUNT starring Jack Benny went before the cameras in 1941, the title was slightly altered for its limited American release. Otherwise, the story is the same as ever. Dizzy Oxford student Lord Fancourt Babberly (Askey) is persuaded to pose as his pal Charley Wyckham's elderly aunt, in order that Charley's and Jack Chesney's girlfriends will have a proper female escort when they come to visit. The charade is complicated by the presence of Jack's father and of one of the girl's guardians, Stephen Spettigue, both of whom are required by the plotline to "romance" the phoney aunt. Further gumming up the works is the arrival of the genuine Aunt, with Lord Fancourt Babberly's erstwhile lady love in tow. CHARLEY'S BIG-HEARTED AUNT was updated and expanded to allow for the characteristic verbal patter of the then-popular Arthur Askey.
Gender Bending |
Great Britain |