Few actors could be better suited than David Tomlinson for the role of a doltish viscount unintentionally entangled in politics, and this brisk 1949 satire was a huge success both for the accomplished character player and his similarly gifted co-stars, Cecil Parker and eighty-year-old film veteran A.E. Matthews. The Chiltern Hundreds is directed by John Paddy Carstairs - whose later career encompassed a string of box-office hits with the likes of Frankie Howerd, Norman Wisdom and Tommy Steele - and is presented here in a brand-new transfer from the original film elements.
Young Viscount Tony Pym wangles National Service leave on the pretext of standing as a Tory candidate for a local seat held by his family for generations. The request is a ruse to enable Pym to marry his wealthy American fiancée while she's still in England, but his masterplan backfires when he finds himself swept into an election campaign and beaten by Labour's Mr Cleghorn - who is then made a peer. In an attempt to save face, Pym decides to stand again - as a socialist. It all proves too much for the Pyms' loyal, true-blue butler, Mr Beecham...
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