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Charley's Aunt (1930)

Unrated | | Comedy | 25 December 1930 (USA)
Charley Wyckham and Jack Chesney pressure fellow student Fancourt Babberly to pose as Charley's Brazilian Aunt Donna Lucia. Their purpose is to have a chaperone for their amorous visits ... See full summary »


Al Christie


Brandon Thomas (from the play by), F. McGrew Willis (screen adaptation)




Complete credited cast:
Charles Ruggles ... Lord Fancourt Babberley (as Charlie Ruggles)
June Collyer ... Amy Spettigue
Doris Lloyd ... Donna Lucia D' Alvadorez
Halliwell Hobbes ... Stephen Spettigue
Hugh Williams ... Charlie Wykeham
Flora le Breton ... Ela Delahay (as Flora LeBreton)
Rodney McLennan Rodney McLennan ... Jack Chesney
Phillips Smalley ... Sir Francis Chesney
Flora Sheffield Flora Sheffield ... Kitty Verdun
Wilson Benge Wilson Benge ... Brassett


Charley Wyckham and Jack Chesney pressure fellow student Fancourt Babberly to pose as Charley's Brazilian Aunt Donna Lucia. Their purpose is to have a chaperone for their amorous visits with Amy and Kitty, niece and ward of crusty Stephen Spettigue. Complications begin when Fancourt, in drag, becomes the love object of old Spettigue and Sir Francis Chesney. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You'll roar when you see it, and laugh for months afterwards when you think of it. If pennies were pounds you could not buy better entertainment. (Print Ad- Evening Star, ((Dunedin NZ)) 18 April 1931)










Release Date:

25 December 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charleys Tante See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Christie Film Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The play originally opened in London on 21 December 1892. The first New York opening was on 2 October 1893. See more »


Version of Charley's Aunt (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

Gender bending, ground breaking comedy
9 April 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

This play by Brandon Thomas having its debut auspiciously in the decade that came to be known as the Gay Nineties is still one of the most popular plays works done in the English language. I venture to say that somewhere on this globe there is a production in some language done of Charley's Aunt.

This particular version and I count 10 versions on film going all the way back to 1911 stars Charlie Ruggles as the Oxford undergraduate talked into going into drag and playing the aunt of one of the people who talked him into it. Chaperones were a big thing back in the day and classmates Hugh Williams and Rodney Mclennan want him to be an aunt to Williams so that they can make some time.

Things really get complicated when Ruggles does his female impersonation so well that Halliwell Hobbes starts falling for him. Such gender bending proved to be enduringly popular over the years. I'm certain many a female impersonator got their start in a Charley's Aunt production. In fact I recall in one of John Wayne's B westerns in the Thirties Gabby Hayes plays a former actor who played in a company of Charley's Aunt and used his costume as a disguise.

The physical comedy is pretty good too as Ruggles has many a close moment in that female attire. The Jack Benny film from the early Forties is better known, but this production is just fine.

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