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Released by Pathéscope August 1939 on 9.5mm sound as T.9135 (6 reels) - price £15.13sh.6d.
"A FIRE HAS BEEN ARRANGED" GB 1935 Director: Leslie Hiscott 70mins B/W Cert "U" Producer: Julius Hagen (approx.50 minutes on 9.5mm) Twickenham Film Distributors Story:H.Fowler Mear, James Carter Screenplay: H.Fowler Mear, Michael Barringer Photography: Sydney Blythe Musical Director: W.L. Trytel Dances arranged by Buddy Bradley Musical numbers: Maurice Sigler, Al Goodheart, Al Hoffman and Bud Flanagan, Horatio Nichols Film Editing: Michael C. Chorlton Art Direction: James A. Carter Assistant Directors: Arthur Barnes, Victor Trytel Filmed at Twickenham Film Studios, UK Location filming at Brooklands Race Track, Byfleet, Surrey, UK
Music in the Pathéscope 9.5mm print includes: "Underneath The Arches" - played by an Orchestra over the opening credits "They're Building Flats Where The Arches Used To Be" - sung by Flanagan & Allen Music cut from the 9.5mm print: "The Fire Brigade" - sung by Robb Wilton & Mary Lawson "It Doesn't Cost A Thing To Smile" - sung by Robb Wilton, Harold French & Mary Lawson
Cast: Bud Flanagan ............. Bud Chesney Allen ............ Ches Mary Lawson .............. Betty Robb Wilton .............. Oswald Harold French ............ Toby C.Dernier Warren ......... Shuffle Alastair Sim ............. Cutte Hal Walters .............. Hal Vincent Holman ........... Ex-Detective (uncredited) Jack Vivian .............. Prison Warder (uncredited) Buddy Bradley Girls ...... Shopgirls Vera Lynn ................ extra (uncredited)
Here is a picture, with robust comedy, that relays music-hall humour to the screen without loss of laughs. Flanagan and Allen, the popular variety team, are given plenty of scope in the absurdly funny story and with the help of a first rate supporting cast deliver side splitting gags with healthly rapidity; the cheery homely nature of the typically English humour more than offsets the airiness of the story.
Bud, Ches and Hal, three crooks, rob a jeweller's store, bury their ill-gotten gains in waste ground and then have to go to gaol. A ten years' stretch faces them and when they come out, they find that an imposing emporium has been erected on the grave of their loot. It so happens, however, that Shuffle and Cutte, directors of the store, are in financial difficulties and plan to burn down the store. All five villains get together.
Needless to say, the plot does not work out according to plan; in the first place, the daughter of the man whom Bud, Ches and Hal had robbed gets hold of the jewellery first and then the insurance policy on the building lapses before the conflagration begins. A merry bunch of twisters emerge unscathed. - Pathescope Monthly Aug/Sept 1939
Maybe the Pathescope write-up is a little over enthusiastic, but then they were selling prints of the film! The film does remain as an interesting piece of pre-war UK entertainment. Alastair Sim is excellent in his portrayal of the crooked store manager whilst there is a clever routine by Flanagan and Allen at a typical 1930's roadhouse - no doubt one of their variety theatre 'turns'. Vera Lynn mentions in her autobiography that she appeared as an 'extra' in the crowd scenes outside the department store. The 9.5mm print has good picture and sound if you can find a copy. If you want to see the full musical and dance numbers then I can recommend the recent DVD release - see below - gln March 2004
|The problem with the 9.5mm sound releases, was that,
like later Super 8mm cut-downs, the feature films were
usually shortened, in this example from 70 minutes down
to about 50 minutes. In the case of "A Fire Has
Been Arranged" this meant the loss of some
interesting musical dance numbers and songs plus scenes
with Robb Wilton training his fire team (the Buddy
Bradley Girls in frilly short skirts - just right for
fire-fighting!) - "The Fire Brigade" and
"It Doesn't Cost A Thing to Smile".both sung by
Robb Wilton & Mary Lawson are the main omissions.
now ninefivers have the chance of viewing "A
Fire Has Been Arranged" full length
Watch "A Fire Has Been Arranged" full length on You Tube 16Apr2014
Return to: 9.5MM PATHESCOPE SOUND FILM CATALOGUE ........... ALPHA .......... NUMERIC
Created March 2004 ...... Last updated: 16 April 2014 ...... 95flmcatt9135.htm ...... ©MM1V Grahame L. Newnham