Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Frozen Limits

The Frozen Limits - U.K. title

A 1939 British production [Gainsborough Pictures (London)]
Producer: Edward Black
Director: Marcel Varnel
Screenplay: Marriott Edgar (George Edgar), Val Guest (Valmond Grossmann), I.O.C. Orton
Cinematography: Arthur Crabtree [black & white]
Music: Louis Levy
Song: ”Always Getting Our Man”, “Hi Ho” sung by chorus
Running time: 84 minutes

Ches - Chesney Allen (William Allen)
Jill - Eileen Bell
Foxy - Eric Clavering (Eric Simon)
Bud - Bud Flanagan (Chiam Weintrop)
Jimmy - Jimmy Gold (James McConigal)
Tex O’Brien - Anthony Hulme (Harry Miller)
Teddy - Teddy Knox (Albert Knox)
Bill McGraw - Bernard Lee
Tom Tiddler - Moore Marriott (George Moore-Marriott)
Charlie - Charlie Naughton (Charles Naughton)
Cecil - Jimmy Nervo (Edward Holloway)
with: Jean Kent (Joan Summerfield)

Song and dance men ‘The Six Wonder Boys’ (The Crazy Gang) are performing their act at a carnival, but considering there is a troupe of Hula Hula Girls gyrating on the stage opposite, it's unsurprising that they are not getting any attention. Or any money for that matter, as their landlady appears and protests that she's come all the way from Scunthorpe to seize the rent they owe her. And not only that, but the owner of the carnival is after them to get his pay for use of the stage, and ends up taking the shirts off their backs. Where can they possibly go now? How about The Yukon?

Never mind that they're forty years too late for the Gold Rush. The plot sees the Gang making their way to the Frozen Limits in search of gold, and finding it after a fashion. First they have to negotiate with Indians, which they do by the improbable means of disguising themselves as them and bartering for their safe passage. Naturally they're far to inept to make this work, so a nearby cowboy helps them out and they end up at a ghost town which is inhabited by Tom Tiddler, under the illusion that the place is still full of locals: the Gang doesn't wish to shater his illusion so they play along.

It turns out there is gold around, but only Tiddler knows where it is - sort of. He finds a lump of it while out sleepwalking, leading to a new gold rush, the only drawback being that they have to follow the old man while he sleepwalks to see where he is going for the riches. Meanwhile, local baddie Bill McGrew is determined to see our heroes hanged so he can get all the treasure for himself. Peppering this plot is a play put on by the Gang, complete with one dressed as a baby even though he can't be seen on the stage, a spoof of Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, and a runaround finale with some slowly approaching singing Mounties.

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