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The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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Missing, Believed Lost - His Lordship

From Missing, Believed Lost, BFI Publishing, 1992

Powell came a cropper with His Lordship, which was apparently far too sophisticated for audiences to accept. 'This effort, which starts off as a musical comedy, drifts into burlesque, then finishes up in a rich satirical vein, is neither flesh, fowl, or good red herring. It is very good in parts, but the good parts are outweighed by the bad, those which have no definite place in the entertainment.' said Kine Weekly. Picturegoer warned its readers: 'Jerry Verno, that clever and versatile British comedian, is very badly served with material in this queer mixture of musical comedy, burlesque and satire.'

Verno played the cockney plumber who is also a member of the peerage. He is persuaded by a couple of con men to become the fianc&eactue; of a tempestuous Russian film star anxious to marry into the aristocracy, thereby pleasing his mother but upsetting his regular girlfriend. One of the musical numbers featured a chorus of girl reporters, dressed in horn-rimmed glasses, tailored costumes and berets, writing in enormous notebooks, with enormous pencils, in unison to the music.

His Lordship was booed by audiences when it opened at the Dominion for a week in September 1932 as support to Ben Lyon in By Whose Hand?, alarming cinema owners who had booked the film. At their request, officers of the Cinematograph Exhibitors Association arranged a meeting with United Artists to see if they could be released from their contracts. The outcome went unreported but it seems unlikely that His Lordship was much seen. The title could be re-used without risk of confusing the public for a George Arliss picture four years later.

This film is "Missing, Believed Lost", please check all achives and attics.

Update: This film has been found and shown. It has proved to be quite popular with modern audiences for many reasons - the words "camp classic" have been mentioned :)

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