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Released by Pathéscope February 1939 on 9.5mm sound as T.9119 (6 reels)
Previously released on 9.5mm silent as SB.30320 (3 reels) in December 1938
(and also released February 1939 on 17.5mm sound as T.7119
- advertised as 6 reels, but catalogue listed, and in Pathéscope register as 8 reels)

"This picture brings you all the highlights of comedy entertainment, with Britain's "Ace" comedian, supported by Florence Desmond. For sheer fun, fast action, and breath-taking thrills, with the T.T. Races as a picturesque background, this film has "No Limit"" - February 1939 Pathescope Monthly.

"NO LIMIT"   GB Nov 1935       Produced by: Basil Dean   Directed by: Monty Banks
 Screenplay: Walter Greenwood    Script: Tom Geraghty, Fred Thompson, Gordon Wellesley
 Photography: Bob Martin         Art Direction: J. Elder Wills
 Sound: John W. Mitchell         Editor: Jack Kitchin
 Associated Talking Pictures     Distributed by: Associated British Film Distributors
 79 minutes B/W "U" certificate
 (Re-issued: 1946) 

 Cast: George Formby ............ George Shuttleworth
       Florence Desmond ......... Florence Dibney
       Edward Rigby ............. Grandfather
       Jack Hobbs ............... Bert Tyldesley
       Peter Gawthorne .......... Higgins
       Alf Goddard .............. Norton
       Beatrix Fielden-Kaye ..... Mrs Horrocks
       Howard Douglas ........... Turner 
       Evelyn Roberts ........... Commentator
       Florence Gregson ......... Mrs Shuttleworth
       Ernest Sefton ............ Hardacre
       Eve Lister ............... Rita
       Edward Rigby ............. Grandfather
       Arthur Young ............. Doctor
       Monty Banks
       Mike Johnson ............. Drunk on ship (uncredited)
       Music by: Ord Hamilton & his 20th Century Band
Songs: "Riding at the TT Races"; "Riding Around On A Rainbow";
       "In A Little Wigan Garden"; "Your Way Is My Way"

George Formby's first big studio comedy casts him as a chimney sweep's help who borrows the money to go to the Isle of Man and enter his home-made motor cycle in the famous T.T. races. Through brake failure, he cracks the lap record and becomes favourite. Bribed not to ride by rivals, he is 're-bribed' by his girl-friend's firm to ride in their colours. He wins. Songs include "Riding at the TT Races" Breezy comedy, a big popular hit. (David Quinlan - British Sound Films)

Florence Desmond

A well made film, which still stands up today, although the full version is recommended over the 9.5mm print, as it provides the full story and all the songs! As usual Pathéscope's editor, in order to do the story justice, chopped out three songs and a ukelele solo in another!.

Luckily for keen nine-five collectors, the two good missing songs were released separately on 9.5mm sound in Pathé Vox Review shorts - the "Riding Around On A Rainbow" item (set on the ship going over to the Isle of Man), can be edited back into the 9.5mm feature at the lab. join of reels 2 and 3 - after Grandpa searches the sofa for his 'lost' money and before the alarm clock close up - it works as a cutaway, the remaining bar footage on the ship doesn't really provide a suitable place to cut it back in there. The surrounding story for the other number "Your Way Is My Way" sung by George and Florrie up on the hill, is missing from the 9.5mm sound print, but this item works well as a finale, edited in just before the "The End" title comes up - a Pathéscope title, so luckily with mute soundtrack.

The well known "Riding In the TT Races" is retained in the 9.5mm sound feature, althouth Formby's ukelele solo is cut, this item does appear complete in Pathé Vox Review Number One. The other number "In A Little Wigan Garden" sung by George in a minstrel show is missing from the 9.5mm print, not a fantastic number; even in the full length film, the director is cutting away from it to other scenes.


"No Limit" used the 1935 Isle of Man TT as the backdrop to the film production. Many outdoor scenes were used in the Isle of Man including Douglas Beach, White City, Douglas Head Road, the Palace Ballrooms and the Douglas Camera Obscura.

Many stunts in the movie are by motor-cycle racers from the Isle of Man including brothers Bertie and Harold Rowell. Members of the Peveril Motor Cycle Club also carried out some of the stunts, including Cyril Standen who crashed into the front-door of the Ballacraine Hotel and the crash into the river at Sulby. Jack Cannell also featured as a stunt rider wearing bib number 15.


Other notes:

1. This was the first six reeler to be issued on 9.5mm sound. The Pathéscope Register had it wrongly listed as eight reels - which was the length of the uncut 17.5mm print released the same month.

2. Apart from the musical numbers omitted from the six reel 9.5mm sound print, Pathéscope cut out a scene on the boat to the Isle of Man where Florence mends George's coat and also the section where the pair go shopping in Douglas and then enjoy the fair at Onchan.

3. Florence Desmond later said: "Most people not connected with the profession imagine that making a comedy film mst be great fun. It can however be a dismal experience as was the case with "No Limit". George Formby and I did not take to each other at first sight, and, although I tried my hardest to overcome this mutual dislike, the relationship between us did not improve. It was unfortunate that we were thrown together more than usual when making a picture by the fact that we were on the Isle Of Man for a month on location". (The pair did however make another film together - the 1936 "Keep Your Seats Please")

4. The production cost was £50,000. The studio engaged a top international stunt rider to double for Formby in the dangerous race scenes, but when he was injured, local taxi driver Jack Cannel was hired as a replacement. His pay was £2 a day, but later he asked for more money. After threatening to strike, Jack was given three guineas per day plus a packed lunch. During the race sequences several motor bikes crash and are destroyed. The insurance company decreed that no machine costing more than £20 was to be smashed.

5. The film is run annually in the Isle Of Man during the TT week. Footage from "No Limit" was used in the 2011 cinema feature "TT 3D - Close To the Edge".

6. Continuity error - The ship George boards in Liverpool is shown as "Mona's Queen" - but when he falls overboard, the lifeboats are from the vessel "Manxman".

(Extra info. from 9.5mm researcher 'extraordinaire' Maurice Trace)

In May 2004 the Isle of Man Post issued a special set of six stamps to commemorate
the making of George Formby's film "No Limit" in the Isle of Man in 1935
the folder contains an interesting write-up on Formby and the making of the film
(a belated thanks to Maurice Trace for this lovely souvenir!)

The full length version of "No Limit" is
available on a Studio Canal DVD and in
their "George Formby Collection" boxed set
try MovieMail, UK Amazon etc.

Watch George sing "Riding In the TT Races" on You Tube:

Watch George & Florence Desmond sing "Riding Around On A Rainbow"



Created March 2004 ...... Last updated:29 October 2015 ...... 95flmcatt9119.htm ...... ©MM1VGrahame L. Newnham
29Nov2014 - 17.5mm ref. added / 29Oct2015 - George Formby stamp set added