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Charley's (Big-Hearted) Aunt (1940)

TV-G | | Comedy | 31 August 1940 (UK)
Taking inspiration from a well-known Victorian play, a modern-day prankster poses as a wealthy woman in a ploy to prevent him and his friends from being expelled from college.


Walter Forde


Brandon Thomas (adapted from the famous farce by), J.O.C. Orton (screen play) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Arthur Askey ... Arthur Linden
Richard Murdoch Richard Murdoch ... 'Stinker' Burton
Graham Moffatt Graham Moffatt ... Albert Brown
Moore Marriott ... Jerry
J.H. Roberts ... Dean of Bowgate
Felix Aylmer ... The Proctor
Wally Patch Wally Patch ... The Buller
Phyllis Calvert ... Betty Forsythe
Jeanne De Casalis ... Aunt Lucy (as Jeanne de Casalis)
Elliott Mason Elliott Mason ... Dame Luckton


After a night of drunken revelry, Oxford student and prankster Arthur Linden-Jones is confined to school grounds. That evening, Arthur has the lead in the Victorian farce "Charley's Aunt." Not wanting to loose the profit from ticket sales, Arthur sneaks off campus. His escapades find him and his friends, Burton and Brown, in even deeper trouble. Appealing to their Dean's interest in Egypt, they create a story about Brown's philanthropic aunt being an Egyptologist. When the Dean requests a meeting with the lady, Arthur puts on a dress and becomes "Aunt Lucy." Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




TV-G | See all certifications »






Release Date:

31 August 1940 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Charleys nya tant See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gainsborough Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Full Range Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Jones's quote, "Smiling, the boy fell dead", is the last line of the poem, "The Incident of the French Camp" by Robert Browning. See more »


Version of Charley's Aunt (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

A silly reworking of the old story.
22 March 2012 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I was surprised when I looked on IMDb to see how many versions there are listed of this story. There are TONS--and in many different languages--all beginning in 1915. However, the story predates this, as it was a VERY successful London play in the 1890s--with over 1400 performances! Because of this, there's a very good change you've seen one of these versions or films that seem to have been influenced by "Charley's Aunt" (such as "Tootsie" or "Some Like it Hot").

Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt were most often seen in films supporting Will Hay. However, after quite a few successful films together, the pair began working with Arthur Askey--another very successful film comedian. Moffat and Richard Murdock are students at Oxford--though how these boobs got into the school is beyond me. The three are constantly in trouble and sooner or later, they're bound to be 'sent down' (that's British for 'expelled'). So, when they finally have pushed too far, the dean sends a letter to their aunt to report their indiscretions. However, the letter is intercepted by Askey and he is persuaded to impersonate the aunt--and try to charm the school officials out of the expulsion. In a twist from the original story, it seems that Askey had learned how to play a woman (badly) by playing the lead in the school production of "Charley's Aunt". In other words, it's like a play within a play. I could tell you more about what happens next, but it's best you just see it for yourself.

This is a pretty typical Askey film. Pleasant and silly, but certainly not brilliant or a must-see movie. It's funny, but my wife had no idea what I was watching but when she came in the room she saw Askey in drag and said "who's that guy". And, if it's THAT obvious to the viewer, perhaps they didn't do the best job in the film.

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