Old Mother Riley’s Jungle Treasure (1951)

Article 2116 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-31-2006
Posting Date: 5-29-2007
Directed by Maclean Rogers
Featuring Arthur Lucan, Kitty McShane, Robert Adams

Old Mother Riley is visited by the ghost of Captain Morgan, who directs her to the map showing where his hidden treasure is buried on a wild tropical island.

When I saw OLD MOTHER RILEY MEETS THE VAMPIRE, I thought it was better than it had any right to be. When I saw OLD MOTHER RILEY’S GHOSTS, I became convinced that it was Lugosi who made OMTRMTV entertaining; it certainly wasn’t Old Mother Riley, who came off in that movie as shrill and annoying. This one is a little better than GHOSTS, but I’m still convinced that the biggest problem with Old Mother Riley movies is Old Mother Riley himself; Arthur Lucan’s distaff alter ego never succeeds in getting a laugh from me. This is not to say that the movie is totally useless; some of the side jokes by other characters hit the mark, and there are a number of laughs in the sequence where several passengers enjoy a flight on what may be the single chintziest airline in existence. It’s also kind of fun seeing Sebastian Cabot as a pirate, and Hammer fans will enjoy the presence of Michael Ripper while Carry On fans will enjoy the presence of Peter Butterworth. Still, I do think if they had managed to make an Old Mother Riley movie without Old Mother Riley, they would have been on to something.


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