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Old Bones of the River

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Director  Marcel Varnel
Cinematography  Arthur Crabtree
Country  United Kingdom
6.6/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy
Screenplay  Val Guest, Marriott Edgar
Language  English
Old Bones of the River movie poster

Writer  Marriott Edgar, Val Guest, J.O.C. Orton
Release date  1938
Cast  Will Hay (Prof. Benjamin Tibbetts), Moore Marriott (Jerry Harbottle), Graham Moffatt (Albert Brown)
Similar movies  Related Marcel Varnel movies

Old Bones of the River is a comedy film released in 1938 starring British actor Will Hay with Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt and directed by Marcel Varnel, based on the characters created by Edgar Wallace. The film is a spoof of the 1935 movie, Sanders of the River.


Old Bones of the River movie scenes


Old Bones of the River movie scenes

Hay plays Professor Benjamin Tibbetts, representative of the Teaching & Welfare Institution for the Reformation of Pagans (otherwise known as T.W.I.R.P for short), and dedicated to spreading education amongst the natives of colonial Africa. Professor Tibbetts is the uncle of Wallace's character Lt Tibbetts, known as "Bones", so the Professor is referred to as "Old Bones".

Old Bones of the River movie scenes

As he arrives (still trying to learn the native language via recordings), Professor Tibbetts is tricked into sneaking a gin still into the country by Prince M'Bapi, half-brother of Bosambo, chief of the Ochori tribe. The steamer that brings him takes Commissioner Sanders on leave, with Captain Hamilton taking over his duties.

Old Bones of the River Old Bones of the River 1938 Movie Review 2020 Movie Reviews

Later, Tibbetts makes his way to Kombooli High, where his students wear Eton collars alongside their native garb. Tibbetts dons a mortarboard and safari shorts due to the heat.

When Hamilton falls ill with a dose of malaria, Tibbetts is forced to take over his duties, which include collecting the taxes. Travelling upriver by canoe, he finds Sanders' paddlesteamer the Zaire, operated by Harbottle (Moore Marriott) and Albert (Graham Moffatt).

M'Bapi leads a revolt against Bosambo, and the threesome rescue a baby from death by sacrifice.

They also manage to precipitate a native uprising...


  • Will Hay as Professor Benjamin Tibbetts
  • Moore Marriott as Jerry Harbottle
  • Graham Moffatt as Albert
  • Robert Adams as Bosambo
  • Jack London as M'Bapi
  • Wyndham Goldie as Commissioner Sanders
  • Jack Livesey as Captain Hamilton
  • References

    Old Bones of the River Wikipedia
    Old Bones of the River IMDb Old Bones of the River