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Small Hotel (1957) Online

Small Hotel (1957) Online
Original Title :
Small Hotel
Genre :
Movie / Comedy
Year :
Directror :
David MacDonald
Cast :
Gordon Harker,Marie Lohr,John Loder
Writer :
Wilfred Eades,Rex Frost
Type :
Time :
Rating :
Small Hotel (1957) Online

The crafty and experienced waiter Albert keeps things running smoothly at the Jolly Fiddler Hotel, and he is the only one who can placate the crabby justice of the peace who is a permanent resident there. But Mr. Finch, a representative from the chain that owns the hotel, thinks that Albert is too old and should be fired. When Finch visits the hotel, his ideas and his manner quickly antagonize the staff and guests, setting off a lengthy battle of wills.
Credited cast:
Gordon Harker Gordon Harker - Albert
Marie Lohr Marie Lohr - Mrs. Samson-Fox
John Loder John Loder - Mr. Finch
Irene Handl Irene Handl - Mrs. Gammon
Janet Munro Janet Munro - Effie Wriggler
Billie Whitelaw Billie Whitelaw - Caroline Mallet
Ruth Trouncer Ruth Trouncer - Sheila Pryor
Francis Matthews Francis Matthews - Alan Pryor
Frederick Schiller Frederick Schiller - Foreign Diner
Derek Blomfield Derek Blomfield - Roland
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dorothy Bromiley Dorothy Bromiley
Dora Bryan Dora Bryan

The name of the small hotel if The Jolly Fiddler.

Gordon Harker's last starring role in a film.

User reviews



I pretty much agree with the comments made by the first reviewer here.

I watched this movie mainly because I'm a Janet Munro fan (this was her first movie). It was clear from the first few minutes, however, that being a Munro fan was not the sole reason for watching, as it's a well-observed, well thought-out little gem, filled with fun and completely unpretentious.

As to Miss Munro, she did not disappoint, more than holding her own with seasoned actors such as Gordon Harker and Marie Lohr, themselves absolutely delightful in their roles.

This one should be made more widely available in the U.S.

No need to read this last line; I'm just adding it, since IMDb now insists that our reviews contain at least ten lines. Sheesh.


With a pretty good cast, a good assortment of characters, and an amusing story, this light comedy works quite well. Gordon Harker, a good character actor, gets the chance to be in the leading role as the scheming waiter Albert. Janet Munro is energetic and sympathetic as a young waitress, and Marie Lohr is mostly believable as a bad-tempered justice of the peace. They get help from a supporting cast that includes John Loder and a young Billie Whitelaw. There are no big laughs, but a fair number of smiles, and a story that moves quickly and easily holds your interest.

The story starts when Loder, as a representative of the chain that owns the hotel where Harker and Munro work, decides to meddle with their way of doing things. Soon there is a rather involved battle of wills and wits among all of the characters. There might not be much depth to any of it, but it is entertaining, and unlike a lot of similar films, they don't push things farther than the premise justifies. You won't see too many B-comedies better than this, and it is definitely recommended if you enjoy low-budget comedies from the 40's and 50's.


This film has a great cast for such a low budget film.The star is undoubtedly Gordon Harker.He started in the twenties in Hitchcock,s films and this was his penultimate film.Marie Lohr made her first film in 1916 and went on till 1971.Irene Handel started in the 1930s and 146 roles later was still acting when she died in 1997.John Loder was another with a long career.Perhaps best known for being Gracie Fields leading man in the 1930s.he was a rather wooden actor and here he is very true to form.On the younger side we have Janet Munro who quickly established herself as a leading lady only to die far too young.then there is Billie Whitelaw at the start of an illustrious career.With actors like these this B feature has an entertainment value which far exceeds its relatively short running time.Just shows what really good B features were being turned out by British studios in the 1950s.
Funny duck

Funny duck

This simple British comedy sparkles with wit, gentle satire, and affectionate good humour. The central performance by Gordon Harker, who was near the end of his career as one of Britain's best loved character actors, is a masterful display of full control of both the screen and of the story. The film is based upon a play by Rex Frost entitled SMALL HOTEL, which opened at the St. Martin's Theatre in London's West End on October 12, 1955. Very little information is recorded about Frost. We do know that in 1954, he wrote the script for a TV movie entitled THE JOLLY FIDDLER, and that is also the name of the hotel in this film. Whether the two works are essentially the same, or merely set in the same hotel, we do not know. It seems so difficult to find out even basic information about Frost that there is not much else to say of him. But he certainly was capable of writing some cracking one-liners, which are liberally sprinkled throughout the film and add greatly to its satirical bite. The film is thus not a farce but an intelligent comedy. Harker plays an elderly head waiter in the small establishment, where he has been in charge of the dining room (which he calls 'mine') for 40 years. Suddenly his position is threatened by a boorish and arrogant man from 'head office' (played by John Loder in obnoxious mode), who wants him replaced by an annoying and supercilious young woman waitress who is really his mistress and 'as common as dirt', as the expression used to go, or as one of the characters refers to her, a pumped-up trollop. She is played by the young Billie Whitelaw, who makes her suitably unsympathetic. The other highlight of the film is the splendid performance by Irene Handl as the cook, Mrs. Gammon. She lit up every film she ever appeared in, and this one has its celluloid scorched by her superb Cockney 'talking-back' and the blunt, bold, and grammatically imperfect tongue-lashings which she administers to anyone who messes with her. She can settle any conflict by saying sarcastically: 'Keep your wig on!' Comic support is given also by Janet Munro as the young waitress Effie, whose amusing and endearing hopelessness is the perfect complement and foil to Harker's effortless mastery of every situation. It is such a tragedy that this extremely talented actress died aged only 38, in 1972. She will always be remembered for her lead in role Val Guest's brilliant sci fi classic, THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE (1961, see my forthcoming review). Marie Lohr does an excellent job of playing a haughty lady with the sharpest of tongues. The film is well directed by David Macdonald, and it is a joy to watch such an intimate gem. It is very short, at only 57 minutes on the DVD (59 minutes according to its IMDb listing), which means that the play must have been cut by at least half an hour, and much of the film must have ended up on the cutting room floor as well. But never mind, whatever was lost is not missed, for the film works perfectly at its present length, and is marvellous. SMALL HOTEL may well have provided inspiration for the long-running TV series FAWLTY TOWERS (1975-1979), which dealt with a small hotel's misadventures as slapstick farce. But I prefer the more subtle approach, and this film certainly has it.