Champagne Charlie

Champagne Charlie

Available on BFI Player Classics, Prime Video
In an effort to keep British spirits high in the midst of WWII, Alberto Cavalcanti released this jovial film about the music hall scene. On a whim, Joe Saunders is asked to sing at a bar while his brother competes in an exhibition-boxing match and to his surprise he is offered a job as a performer. In time, Joe draws the attention of music hall owner Bessie Bellwood (Betty Warren), who is looking for a new act. Bessie eventually discovers Joe's talents and recruits him to be the headliner as the Mogador on the condition that he changes his name, which he gratefully obliges by accepting the moniker George Leybourne. Once on stage, George realizes the competitive quarters within which he now works, especially as a rivalry develops with "The Great Vance" (Stanley Holloway). As the singers do battle on stage, their fans do battle in the audience and with lots of drinking songs on the set list this show stopping event may actually cause the show to stop.
Starring Tommy Trinder, Betty Warren, Stanley Holloway
Director Alberto Cavalcanti