THE CHEEKY CHAPPIE
They Don't Make 'em Anymore, Duck!
The Good Companions (1933)
Friday the Thirteenth (1933)
Channel Crossing (1933)
Princess Charming (1934)
Things Are Looking Up (1934)
Get Off My Foot (1935)
Educated Evans (1936)
Take It from Me (1937)
Don't Get Me Wrong (1937)
Thank Evans (1938)
Everything Happens to Me (1938)
The Good Old Days (1939)
Hoots Mon! (1940)
Asking for Trouble (1942)
The five films shown in red are, apparently, "lost". If you know the whereabouts of these "lost" films, please contact the Max Miller Appreciation Society or the British Film Institute.
Max Miller's entry in Leslie Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion reads, "Ribald British music-hall comedian ('The Cheeky Chappie'). Starred in several vehicles during the 30s but his style and material had to be considerably toned down for the screen".
Max made 14 feature films between 1932 and 1942.
THE GOOD COMPANIONS (1933)
Jessie Matthews, Edmund Gwenn
Dir. Victor Saville (113 min)
A musical comedy film which Max makes his debut. He appears as Millbrau, a music publisher's agent in a 3 minutes long scene with a songwriter (John Gielgud) who is seated at the piano. John Gielgud had a high regard for Max and, in an acting master class years later, advised his students to go and watch Miller to learn the art of timing.
FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH (1933)
Ursula Jeans, Frank Lawton, Ralph Richardson, OB Clarence, Emlyn Williams, Sonnie Hale
Dir. Victor Saville (89 Min)
A rather melodramatic film containing a wealth of stars from the English stage and films. Max's role is small. He plays Joe of the Caledonian market, a very fast speaking vendor who is trailed by a detective and two Americans.
CHANNEL CROSSING (1933)
Dir. Milton Rosmer (67 min)
In the film credits, Max is the only actor listed not to have a character beside his name. So is he playing himself? Max's part is small and the film itself takes place on a train and cross channel steamer. It has wonderful location shots and a melodramatic plot lightened by Max's quick-fire gags during his occasional appearances.
PRINCESS CHARMING (1934)
George Grossmith,Yvonne Arnaud,
Max Miller, Finlay Currie
Dir. Maurice Elvey (74 min)
Max plays Walter Chuff, an insurance salesman caught up in a revolution in Aufland, but talks himself out of tricky situations. Evelyn Laye as the princess is wonderful. She sings a number of unmemorable songs. Ray Noble, the songwriter and bandleader, also born in Brighton, composed the music and the words are by Max Kester. The plot is thin and most of Max Miller’s jokes are quick firing but without the double entendre for which he is famous.
THINGS ARE LOOKING UP (1934)
and William Gargan
Musical numbers: Noel Gay, Clifford Grey
Dir. Albert de Courville (76 min)
Things are looking up for Max, as he is given support billing. Cicely Courtneidge stars. The film is really hers. She saves a weak plot playing two roles and sustains a corny story. Max playing Joey, fools around as a circus hand and comes to the rescue of the leading lady who sings a few songs. It is Vivien Leigh's feature film debut.
GET OFF MY FOOT (1935)
Dir. William Beaudine (82 min)
Max's first starring role. He plays Herbert Cronk, a Smithfield market porter who believes he was responsible for his friend's death. He escapes and becomes a butler to a family, falling for the maid.
EDUCATED EVANS (1936)
Dir. William Beaudine (86 min)
A newly rich couple, under the impression that Cockney racing tout Evans is a championship-winning trainer (he isn't), ask him if he can train a racehorse they have just bought. It turns out that they don't know anything about horse racing, but think that having a championship racehorse will be their ticket into "society". Evans agrees, but since he doesn't have a stable, moves the horse into the quarters he shares with two lodgers. Surprisingly, the horse has an innate talent for racing and could well be a champion. Evans enters him in the big championship race, but the day before it is to take place, the horse is stolen.
TAKE IT FROM ME (1937)
Dir. William Beaudine (78 min)
Max plays Albert Hall, a boxing manager. The film, a comedy is about a young boxer being taken under the wing of Lady Foxham. They sail to England where Albert Hall is pursued by a gold digger who thinks he is a millionaire. When she discovers he is not, she sets her sights on the kid.
DON'T GET ME WRONG (1937)
Clive Blakeney, George E. Stone, Glen Alyn, Clifford Heatherley, Wallace Evenett, Alexander Field
Dir. Reginald Purdell, Arthur B Woods (80 min)
Max stars as Wellington Lincoln The Human Dynamo a sideshow performer in a fairground. He meets a nutty professor who claims to have invented a substitute for petrol. Max helps the professor to promote his discovery but there are others who want to steal the idea. This leads to a number of twists, chases and slapstick. The film is rather dated.
THANK EVANS (1938)
Dir. Roy William Neill (78 min)
The sequel to Educated Evans in which Max once again plays Evans, an unlucky tipster. A comedy based on an Edgar Wallace story, a gambler down on his luck, is assisted by a kindly lord at the races. Later the gambler helps the lord realise that he is being conned by a wicked horse trainer.
EVERYTHING HAPPENS TO ME (1938)
H. F. Maltby
Dir. Roy William Neill (82 min)
Max plays Charles Cromwell, a vacuum cleaner salesman and electioneers. When he discovers that the candidate he is supporting is defrauding an orphanage, he deserts to the other side to assist the good.
THE GOOD OLD DAYS (1939)
Dir. Roy William Neil
Set in London in the 1840s, the attempts of a group of actors led by Max as Alexander the Great, the theatre manager, to crash into high society keeps failing. They land in jail. Afterwards, they save a nobleman's son who was kidnapped by gypsies. The nobleman finally helps the group out.
Max Miller and Florence Desmond
HOOTS MON! (1940)
Dir. Roy William Neill (74 min)
Max appears as Harry Hawkins, who is billed as England's Funniest Comedian. Florence Desmond plays Jenny McTavish, the Bluebell of Scotland, a male impersonator. There is rivalry between the two. Harry Hawkins's stage act is, coincidentally, identical to Max's. The tune Mary from the Dairy can be heard as Harry Hawkins's makes his entrance.
ASKING FOR TROUBLE (1942)
Carol Lynne, Mark Lester, Wilfred Hyde-White
Dir. Oswald Mitchell (81 min)
Max Miller's singing of Mary from the Dairy precedes his appearance on the screen. He plays Dick Smith, the owner of a fishmonger and poultry conveyor. His shop is full of customers and these provide the basis of an audience at which he can aim his quick-fire jokes. A bookmaker on the side, he gets arrested, escapes from the police and disguises himself as an explorer returning from Africa complete with an elephant. As well as Mary from the Dairy, he sings two more songs Just You and Me? (Showing with Love for You?) and Turn on the Heat. His co-star is Carole Lynn who he woos.
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