Formby on film
This unsophisticated little film has no story line. George as the hotel boots does various comedy routines with the manager, the chef, a couple of guests and the scullery maid. When the manager becomes aware of his prowess on the ukulele and the maid's (Beryl) talent for dancing, he puts them into the hotel cabaret. Of great historical interest, the film was made in 14 days for £3,000 in a 'studio' above the Albany Garage, off Regent Street, London. Brendan Ryan. Actually this film must be well known (if not well thought of) by Coronation Street star Betty Driver. Betty auditioned for a part in the film and was accepted - until Beryl Formby realised that there was another female involved - then Betty Driver was immediately written out of the plot! Strangely enough, nobody bothered to remove Betty's name from the film credits and even though there is not one frame of Betty in the film, her name rolls up the credits to this day! This of course was George's first film (apart from the long lost silent "The Shortest Of Heads" which he was involved in when he was 10 years old). The early films are important because they show George playing the ukulele 'live' and the camera stays with George rather than drifting away when the magical uke solo arrives. Peter Pollard BOOTS! BOOTS! In 1960 George referred to Boots! Boots! as "a lousy picture".  But his jocular comment can't be taken at face value. It's true that the film is lacking in technical quality but this is explained by the shoe-string budget and though the film - when placed alongside George's pictures for Ealing and Columbia - may appear to lack coherence, the comparison is hardly a fair one. The content and style of George's best pictures followed a successful comedy formula tailor-made for him at Ealing. What "Boots!" represents is almost a different genre: it is a direct transfer from stage to screen of the type of sketch comedy with which George and Beryl had been touring the provinces throughout the late 20s and early 30s in Revue. As such, the film today is an invaluable historical record of George's early style, and it's a treat to see him (and Beryl) performing in a more "theatrical" mode than the King of Celluloid we know from his later successes.  Andy Eastwood
Boots! Boots!
Boots! Boots! Blakeley's Film Productions/Butchers Film Service Produced by: John E. Blakeley Writers: George Formby & Jack Cottrell Photographer: James S. Hodgson (In a BBC interview in 1971 Tom Blakeley claimed that the film was photographed by Roy Fogwell who shot two of George's later Columbia films) Directer: Bert Tracy Trade Show: February 8 1934; Released on: July 30 1934 Cast: George Formby, Beryl Formby, Arthur Kingsley, Eileen Keyes, Ronald Reid, Harry Hudson Orchestra, Betty Driver (see above) Run time 71 minutes Songs: Baby (Cottrell) Why Don't Women Like Me? (Cottrell/Bennett/Formby) Sitting On The Ice In The Ice Rink (Cottrell) I Could Make A Good Living At That (Cottrell/Lawton) The music only of "Chinese Laundry Blues" to the tap dancing of Beryl Formby
formby on film
This unsophisticated little film has no story line. George as the hotel boots does various comedy routines with the manager, the chef, a couple of guests and the scullery maid. When the manager becomes aware of his prowess on the ukulele and the maid's (Beryl) talent for dancing, he puts them into the hotel cabaret. Of great historical interest, the film was made in 14 days for £3,000 in a 'studio' above the Albany Garage, off Regent Street, London. Brendan Ryan. Actually this film must be well known (if not well thought of) by Coronation Street star Betty Driver. Betty auditioned for a part in the film and was accepted - until Beryl Formby realised that there was another female involved - then Betty Driver was immediately written out of the plot! Strangely enough, nobody bothered to remove Betty's name from the film credits and even though there is not one frame of Betty in the film, her name rolls up the credits to this day! This of course was George's first film (apart from the long lost silent "The Shortest Of Heads" which he was involved in when he was 10 years old). The early films are important because they show George playing the ukulele 'live' and the camera stays with George rather than drifting away when the magical uke solo arrives. Peter Pollard BOOTS! BOOTS! In 1960 George referred to Boots! Boots! as "a lousy picture".  But his jocular comment can't be taken at face value. It's true that the film is lacking in technical quality but this is explained by the shoe-string budget and though the film - when placed alongside George's pictures for Ealing and Columbia - may appear to lack coherence, the comparison is hardly a fair one. The content and style of George's best pictures followed a successful comedy formula tailor-made for him at Ealing. What "Boots!" represents is almost a different genre: it is a direct transfer from stage to screen of the type of sketch comedy with which George and Beryl had been touring the provinces throughout the late 20s and early 30s in Revue. As such, the film today is an invaluable historical record of George's early style, and it's a treat to see him (and Beryl) performing in a more "theatrical" mode than the King of Celluloid we know from his later successes.  Andy Eastwood
Boots! Boots!
Boots! Boots! Blakeley's Film Productions/Butchers Film Service Produced by: John E. Blakeley Writers: George Formby & Jack Cottrell Photographer: James S. Hodgson (In a BBC interview in 1971 Tom Blakeley claimed that the film was photographed by Roy Fogwell who shot two of George's later Columbia films) Directer: Bert Tracy Trade Show: February 8 1934; Released on: July 30 1934 Cast: George Formby, Beryl Formby, Arthur Kingsley, Eileen Keyes, Ronald Reid, Harry Hudson Orchestra, Betty Driver (see above) Run time 71 minutes Songs: Baby (Cottrell) Why Don't Women Like Me? (Cottrell/Bennett/Formby) Sitting On The Ice In The Ice Rink (Cottrell) I Could Make A Good Living At That (Cottrell/Lawton) The music only of "Chinese Laundry Blues" to the tap dancing of Beryl Formby