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Back Room Boy


Arthur Pilbeam wants to find a job away from women after being jilted by his fiancé. He finds a job at a remote lighthouse that's being used as meteorological station., but even in these isolated conditions he still can't help but run into women. Originally uploaded by k-otic.

Back-Room Boy is a 1942 United Kingdom comedy film directed by Herbert Mason and starring Arthur Askey, Googie Withers, Graham Moffatt and Moore Marriott. A man from the Met Office is sent to a lighthouse on a remote Scottish island to monitor the weather. He hopes to escape from women, but soon finds the island overrun by them.


Arthur Askey plays Meteorology Arthur Pilbeam who is jilted by his fiancée Betty because he has to speed back to the BBC every hour, on the hour due to his internationally vital job of creating the BBC pips. As he cannot be fired during wartime and wanting to avoid all women, he is assigned the solitary job of sending weather reports from a remote Scotland lighthouse. Before taking a boat from the mainland during the four hours of daylight that are available for the time of year, the locals warn him he will go mad from isolation and the curse of a mermaid within a month as others have.
Authur Pilbeam soon has his peace shattered as a stowaway is found in the lighthouse and the survivors of a torpedoed ship arrive. Things are crowded on the lighthouse until one-by-one people start to mysteriously disappear, leaving Pilbeam to discover what has been happening to everyone and why.


In his book about 1940s British cinema, Realism and Tinsel, Robert Murphy describes the film as "the funniest if the least original of the Askey comedies".


  • Arthur Askey - Arthur Pilbeam
  • Moore Marriott - Jerry
  • Graham Moffatt - Albert
  • Googie Withers - Bobbie
  • Vera Frances - Jane
  • Joyce Howard - Betty
  • John Salew - Steve Mason
  • George Merritt (actor) - Uncle
  • Aubrey Mallalieu - West
  • D. J. Williams (actor) - McIntyre


  • Murphy, Robert. Realism and Tinsel: Cinema and Society in Britain, 1939-1949. Routledge, 1989.

  • Category:1942 films
    Category:1940s comedy films
    Category:English-language films
    Category:British films
    Category:British comedy films
    Category:British spy films
    Category:Films directed by Herbert Mason
    Category:World War II films made in wartime
    Category:Black-and-white films
    Category:Films set in Scotland

    Edward Black

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