Back-Room Boy

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Back-Room Boy
Back-Room Boy FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Herbert Mason
Produced by Edward Black
Written by Marriott Edgar
Val Guest
Starring Arthur Askey
Moore Marriott
Graham Moffatt
Music by Hans May
Cinematography Jack E. Cox
Editing by R.E. Dearing
Studio Gainsborough Pictures
Distributed by General Film Distributors
Release dates 17 April 1942
Running time 82 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Back-Room Boy is a 1942 British 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 meteorologist 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 Scottish 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".[1]



  1. ^ Murphy p.196


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

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