Q Planes (1939)

March 14th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Tim Whelan | Cast: Laurence Olivier, Valerie Hobson, Ralph Richardson, George Curzon | UK Drama

Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson make a dashing pair back in the days when Olivier was still cast as a handsome hunk.

Although the use of biplanes locates the action in the frivolous thirties (as exemplified by Olivier calling Valerie Hobson as “Miss Fleet Street of 1938”), the storyline about disappearing high-speed bombers looks ahead to the coming war in Europe.

Olivier is officially the star but Richardson has the showier part as a deceptively vague, bowler-hatred, brolly-wielding moustached secret agent – who insouciantly breaches the fourth wall at the film’s conclusion – cheerfully acknowledged by Patrick MacNee as the inspiration for John Steed. @RichardChatten

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