Newest Reviews
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Iron Mask, The
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
  Sing as We Go! On Yer Bike, Gracie!
Year: 1934
Director: Basil Dean
Stars: Gracie Fields, John Loder, Dorothy Hyson, Stanley Holloway, Frank Pettingell, Lawrence Grossmith, Morris Harvey, Arthur Sinclair, Maire O'Neill, Ben Field, Olive Sloane, Margaret Yarde, Evelyn Roberts, Norman Walker, James R. Gregson, Muriel Pavlow
Genre: Musical, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: There's trouble at t'mill, in fact the mill is closing down leaving the locals in this area of Manchester out of work. Gracie Platt (Gracie Fields) is one of those who has lost her job, and if anything she is more upset about the works stage show being cancelled, because she was due to sing in it and hoped for this occasion to open up brighter opportunities for her. But all that seems to be at an end, and now she must either go on the dole or seek employment elsewhere, and with the Great Depression blighting the globe, that is easier said than done. However, she gets an idea that Blackpool might be the perfect destination...

The only star to rival Our Gracie in British cinemas of the nineteen-thirties in popularity was George Formby, a similarly musically-inclined Northerner with a line in pomposity-deflating humour. If they had equivalent films, then surely Gracie was doing for Blackpool in this what George did for The Isle of Man in No Limit, presenting a magnet for working class amusements, in his case the world-famous TT Races, and replicating the thrills of actually visiting there with plenty of jokes and catchy tunes. The key to these was to present the leads as one of the little folk, one of us, bumbling through life and having the luck we would wish for ourselves.

Blackpool did not particularly need a boost from Gracie, it was still one of the biggest tourist destinations in the country with its Pleasure Beach, illuminations and countless sideshows and amusements, a perfect place to sink the hard-earned cash of the visitors into for the fun of going on a ride or getting your fortune told. To an extent, it retains that appeal, though there was always a seedier aspect that Sing as We Go! does not delve into, well, not too much, as it was trying to advertise the location as a desirable dreamland where a nobody like Gracie could go and find all sorts of entertainment and appeal, as long as they had been prepared to work for it.

Of course, Fields was not a nobody at all, she was a major celebrity, and come the end of the decade she was deemed to have let her adoring public down by upping sticks and emigrating to America for an abortive Hollywood career, this regarded as a betrayal - Formby didn't make that mistake, he stayed and wisely entertained the troops. But in 1934, as the seeds of the Second World War were sown, it was movies like this that kept the nation's spirits aloft, its central image of a huge crowd of citizens all singing with one voice, led by Gracie, obviously resonating as a symbol of national identity. Not that many were thinking that at the time, as the script, penned by the much-respected J.B. Priestley, emphasised the jokes and gave the heroine ample opportunity to show off her vocal range in song.

The title song may be difficult to take entirely seriously now, of course, post-Monty Python. One on of the comedy troupe's albums, Graham Chapman had recorded it with drastically altered lyrics to become "Sit on my face and tell me that you love me!", and as the tune was exactly the same, if you have that version squirreled away in your mind, it can be hard to think of anything else whenever the ditty crops up in this film, which is often. But there were more intentional laughs to be gained here, even if it's something of a museum piece in the following millennium, for Gracie was an agent of organised chaos, putting anyone who tried to take advantage of her in their place, and orchestrating the innocent love affair between secondary leads John Loder (impeccably turned out as always) and Dorothy Hyson (vaunted in her day as one of the most beautiful women in the world). It was somewhat ramshackle, Gracie cycled fifty miles in two minutes, Stanley Holloway showed up unrecognisably as a policeman, beauty contests were staged, Crunchy Wunchy was sold, it was all completely ridiculous but oddly admirable.

[Network release this as part of The British Film on Blu-ray with a vintage programme, trailer, gallery and subtitles as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 179 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor


Last Updated: