The Galloping Major 1951 Basil Radford

This British made comedy film from 1951 has a cast packed with familiar actors and actresses of the day. Basil Radford, Jimmy Hanley, Janette Scott, A.E.Matthews, Rene Ray, Hugh Griffith, Charles Victor, Joyce Grenfell, Julien Mitchell, Charles Hawtrey, Alfie Bass, Sid James, Kenneth More, Leslie Phillips, Sam Kydd, Thora Hird, Duncan Lamont and Arthur Mullard.

With this band of players, it is bound to be a laugh

The Galloping Major has a lively script with several very ingenious touches.

For instance A.E. Matthews lays down the law, but in the very next scene we discover that his motivation is not all it should be .

Kenneth More, just before he becomes a leading actor, does not have much to do – Raymond Glendenning steps in as the commentatoron the Horse race – as he would.

In all, The Galloping Major is a British character filled delight.

Basil Radford – ‘The Galloping Major’ was his second to last Film appearance

The first film in which Basil Radford appeared was Barnum was Right in 1929, but it was not until several years later that his real chance came on the screen, and he certainly grasped the chance. He was in such classics as The Lady Vanishes  and Dead of Night. He followed up in successful productions such as Passport to Pimlico and Whisky Galore.

Basil Radford was born at Chester, in 1897, and was educated at St. Peter’s, York. He served in the First World War 1915-18, and on his return to civil life studied for the stage at RADA , and made his first appearance on the London stage in July, 1924, in Collusion at the Ambassadors .He had a long and successful stage career touring New Zealand and the USA even in those far off days

In the summer of 1951 his health began to fail, and although he made several brave attempts to resume acting, after several collapses he was compelled to relinquish his career.

The Lady Vanishes

Here we see Basil Radford teamed as he always was from this film onwards with Naunton Wayne as the cricket loving friends who epitomised British valour of the era, and who did so much good for the morale of the country during dark Wartime Days

Just how brave they were is depicted in this scene on the train in ‘The Lady Vanishes’ – they weren’t the major stars of the film but they were perfect in their roles and made such an impact with audiences that they were teamed together in many more films playing the same characters – Charters and Caldicott

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