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  • Description

    Titles read: "Pathetone presents - BENNETT & WILLIAMS - The Popular Radio & Variety Entertainers".

    London, probably Pathe Studio.

    M/S of a man (I think this is Bennett) sitting and playing a snatch of 'South of the Border' on a strange instrument played like a cello, but instead of an acoustic body, the sound comes out of a brass horn attached to the end - could be called a violano virtuoso.

    Another man enters (think this is Williams), looking quite a comical figure in a top hat and tiny 'Hitler' moustache. He interrupts the first man, calling him Bill, and saying, "I'm going to sing the parachute song - It Don't Mean a Thing If You Don't Pull The String". The comic one then talks rapidly, turning out a quick succession of jokes ("Have you got a greyhound on you Bill? I've got a hair down my back") and constantly waving to his mother-in-law in the imaginary balcony behind us.

    Bill gets exasperated and tells the other one to shut up, but it does no good! More and more cracks, like "What did the old rose say to the young rose? Hi, bud". Eventually, the comical one fetches his own instrument as described above and sits playing and singing a snatch of blues. More crosstalk, then finally (!) the pair play 'South of the Border' on their instruments. At the end of the piece they wave goodbye.

  • Tags

  • Data

    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    Media URN:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Film ID:
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:55:42:00 / 01:59:32:00
    PT 499
    Sort Number:
    PT 499
  • Appears in...

    Experimental odd musical instruments WW2 entertainment Turns 1939
  • Stills

    0:01 0:02 0:03 0:04

Comments (1)

  1. BKesse says

    Their stage names seem to have been Bill Bennett and Ben Williams. I imagine that neither used the surname he was born with.

    Ben Williams died on Nov 22 1979. In one sketch filmed in 1939 he says he was 35 years old. (This may not be true.) Williams often calls Bennett "Bill", but the only time Bennett calls Williams by a first name, it is "Harry". The announcement of Williams's? death in the JC names him Ben Williams of Bennett and Williams.

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