No Limit (1935 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
No Limit
No Limit FilmPoster.jpeg
Film poster for No Limit
Directed by Monty Banks
Produced by Basil Dean
Written by Tom Geraghty
Fred Thompson
Walter Greenwood
Starring George Formby
Florence Desmond
Edward Rigby
Music by Ernest Irving
Ord Hamilton
Cinematography Robert Martin
Edited by Jack Kitchin
Distributed by Associated British
Release dates
  • 28 October 1935 (1935-10-28)
Running time
80 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £30,000

No Limit is a 1935 British comedy film which was released by Associated Talking Pictures. It starred George Formby and Florence Desmond.

Storyline and plot[edit]

George Shuttleworth (Formby) is a chimney sweep from Wigan who dreams of winning the Isle of Man TT Race. Unfortunately, George's attempts to secure a factory ride with the Rainbow Motorcycle Company are unsuccessful and consequently he resorts to entering his own machine the "Shuttleworth Snap," a motorcycle derived from an old Rainbow machine. Whilst showing his motorcycle to a group of children, George decides to give the engine a run. George inadvertently knocks the motorcycle off its stand and crashes into the fence of his next door neighbour (Mr Hardache), who goads George about his dream of winning the T.T.

Undeterred, George asks his mother if she could lend him £5 so as he can make his way to the Isle of Man in order to compete at the races. Although unable to give him the £5 directly, George's mother endeavours to take the money from his Grandpa's savings which he keeps concealed in the lining of the settee. With money 'borrowed' from his grandfather, George makes his way by train to Liverpool and embarks on the steamer for Douglas. As he prepares to embark, George's attention is drawn to the arrival of the more famous T.T. competitors - such as Bert Tyldesley - who embarks onto the steamer with the secretary to the boss of the Rainbow Motorcycle Company, Florrie Dibney (Florence Desmond).

George attempts to be included in a photograph with Tyldesley and another T.T. rider - Norton. But as they assemble for the photograph, George observes a stray cargo crate heading towards them. In order to save Florrie from being struck by the crate, George pushes her out of the way and consequently knocks her hat over the side of the ship. During the melee, George's own hat - in which he's put his wallet containing his money and ticket for safe keeping - is knocked from his head - although this occurrence is unknown to him.

More concerned at the loss of her hat than the danger posed by the cargo crate, Florrie takes George to task, and he resolves to climb down the side of the ship in order to retrieve the hat. As George begins to descend the side of the ship on a rope the order is given to cast off, and the deck hands begin to haul in the rope just as George reaches the ship's side belting. Holding onto the very end of the rope, it is suddenly hauled up and George falls into the water.

Passengers on the steamer alert the crew to the situation, and life buoys are thrown to George in order to extricate him from the water, and he is taken to the ship's engine room in order to dry off. This unfortunately causes George's suit to shrink and he emerges from the engine room to be greeted by a sympathetic Florrie.

On thanking George for retrieving her hat, Florrie notices that one of the pockets on his suit has been torn, and having borrowed a needle and thread from a lady passenger, she endeavours to mend the pocket. As she does so, she removes the contents from George's pocket and notices a photograph of him astride his motorcycle, which he had sent with an accompanying letter to the Rainbow Motorcycle Company - a correspondence which Florrie had dealt with.

Florrie decides to play a trick on George, and whilst she is sewing his pocket, she asks if he'd like her to read his palm. Unbeknownst to George, Florrie knows his background having dealt with his correspondence at the Rainbow Motorcycle Company, and uses this information as a way of telling his fortune.

Bert Tyldesley - the famous Rainbow rider - then arrives and introduces himself to George, who is somewhat starstruck. Tyldesley then offers to take both Florrie and George into the saloon for a drink, and George goes ahead so as he may order the drinks. The saloon is extremely busy, and George's attempts to order drinks whilst acknowledged by the steward, are ignored. As a consequence of the jostling crowd in the vicinity of the bar, George becomes faint and slumps to the floor. The steward then appears through a sliding panel and informs George; "I wouldn't have any more if I were you sir!" Tyldesley then enters the saloon with Florrie and enquires as to where the drinks are. He then calls to the steward to order the drinks, and is served immediately.

In boisterous mood, George offers to buy some more drinks. He searches for his wallet and remembers that he'd earlier placed his wallet inside his hat. As he feels for his hat, he notices it has been lost and in a panic, sets off to find it. Tyldesley is dismissive of George, and as the drinks are served, Florrie - who sympathises with George's plight - offers to pay for the drinks. Tyldesley then attempts to pay, but Florrie gives the steward the money and leaves the saloon in search of George.

As George wanders the deck in search of his hat, a fellow passenger - who has found the hat - calls to him in order to return it. Florrie then finds George as he is getting his hat back. Unfortunately on inspecting his wallet, George finds that both his ticket and money have been taken.

At that moment, a crew member approaches checking the tickets of the passengers. With the ticket collector drawing nearer, Florrie decides to intervene. She appears behind a passenger - who appears a little worse for wear - and by pretending to be the ticket collector she receives his ticket which she then presents as George's along with her own. On having presented the ticket, Florrie returns it to drunken gentleman; stating that she "Doesn't want him to have to walk the rest of the way!"

On arriving at Douglas, George accompanies Florrie to her guest house (the Vista Superba) and takes her case inside for her. The landlady - Mrs Horrocks - is of a stern disposition, and when Florrie enquires of George if he has anywhere to stay, Mrs Horrocks abruptly informs him that there is no room at her establishment. Florrie then informs George that since that is the case, he will have to "Stay at the hotel with the other TT riders."

The demeanour of Mrs Horrocks changes immediately, and she informs George that in fact she does have a room - as a consequence of a cancellation - her very best room overlooking the sea, and that he is welcome to it.

Whilst George is somewhat trepidacious as a result of losing his money, Florrie persuades him to take the room on the basis that he can pay for his lodgings when he has won the race. As Mrs Horrocks accompanies George to his room, she says that she hopes he will have a pleasant fortnight. George states that he will only be staying for a week in order to compete in the races. However, Mrs Horrocks then informs him that the races have been postponed whilst repairs are made to Ballig Bridge.

Several days later whilst awaiting race day, George is in his room when Mrs Horrocks enters with his account for his board and lodgings, and asks if he will be wishing to settle the account then, or pay later that day. George says he'll pay later that day. Florrie arrives as Mrs Horrocks is leaving, and George shows her his statement. Florrie asks whether George could ask his mother for the money for his lodgings, but he explains that "she'd 'borrowed' it from Grandpa." Florrie then asks if his mother could not ask his grandpa for a further advance, only to be told that his grandpa "doesn't know she's borrowed it."

Florrie then suggests that George find temporary work in order to settle his account. However George informs her that his job is a 'Chimney Sweep's help', and that particular field of work is somewhat limited in June! However, this gives Florrie and idea on how George may raise some money, and she persuades him to 'black' his face and take to the beach as a singing minstrel. George reluctantly agrees.

George and Florrie proceed to the beach, and George takes his place on the steps of a beach hut. Florrie attracts the attention of the people on the beach, and George begins to sing. Tyldesley and Norton are taking a stroll along the beach and notice the crowd assembled. On approaching the crowd, Tyldesley sights Florrie who is busy circulating with George's hat collecting money. Tyldesley enquires what Florrie is doing, and she informs him that she's simply enjoying the entertainment. Realising what is occurring, Tyldesley takes the hat from Florrie and states that he would be able to make better of the collection. Tyldesley, who is being egged on by Norton, then sights Mrs Horrocks and approaches her so as she may contribute to the collection. Tyldesley asks Mrs Horrocks for a contribution, and points out that the performer is one of her residents.

Mrs Horrocks is angered and embarrassed by the situation, and promptly makes her way to the beach hut so as she may take George to task, stating that she "runs a respectable house, and will have no sand singers staying there." In front of the assembled crowd, Mrs Horrocks then orders George to return to his lodgings and to pack his bags. Florrie then intervenes, and appeals to the assembled crowd that George does not indulge in such a pastime as a means of making a living, and that he is in fact a TT rider who simply performs in order to assist charity. Looking across the beach, Florrie sights a man collecting for the Bird Sanctuaries of the Frozen North, and informs the crowd that it is to assist this cause that is the reason for George performing. Florrie attracts the attention of the man, and having requested Tyldesley and Mrs Horrocks to make a contribution, she presents him with the money raised by the collection.

The morning of the trial for the races dawns, and George has overslept. Florrie arrives at George's room, and stirs him from his slumber. Upon being awakened, George then sets about getting ready and making his way to the TT Grandstand. Upon the roads being confirmed closed, the first competitor sets off to begin his lap. George meanwhile, is waiting with Florrie who urges him to be careful; especially over the mountain. Tyldesley and Norton make light of George and his motorcycle, and as George sets off on his lap, a large amount of smoke billows from the machine, much to the amusement of Tyldesley and Norton. As he passes the Quarterbridge, George decides to accelerate his motorcycle. Unfortunately the throttle breaks and George endeavours to use the brake so as he may slow down. The brake in turn fails, and George is left with the machine almost out of control. As he passes various time stewards, they show amazement at the speed he has attained, until a lady with a young child set on going about her business, leaves the child in the road as she closes a gate just as George is approaching. In an effort to avoid the child, George swerves off the road and careers down a field eventually coming to a halt.

Back at home, George's mother is sat reading the newspaper whilst his grandpa is bemoaning the fact that George seems rather good for nothing. His mother, then shows him the headline in the local paper "The Slagdyke Gazette". Dare Devil Shuttleworth Breaks TT Record. Grandpa's persona quickly changes, and a sense of pride swells up inside him - albeit in a hypocritical fashion. Eager to get involved with George's endeavours, grandpa tells George's mother mother to go and pack their respective bags, as they are both to journey to the Isle of Man.

Following the race trial, a sense of concern has begun to affect the other riders as a consequence of George's exploits, and is particularly affecting Norton. Norton confides in his team boss Turner, that with the new Sprocket motorcycle he is quite confident of being able to beat Tyldesley, but George is now his main cause of concern. Turner therefore resolves to 'fix' George as he is also worried about his influence on the forthcoming race.

George meanwhile, is being treated by the doctor, as he is suffering from the effects of riding his motorcycle whilst he was unable to control it. The doctor tells him that all that is required is some rest, and that he'll be perfectly fit in no time. Upon hearing the sound of a motorcycle outside however, George quickly becomes nervous and confides in the doctor that he never wants to see let alone ride, another motorcycle again.

As the doctor is leaving, Turner and Norton enter on the premise that they wish to enquire as to George's health. Turner remarks that George looks well, although he had a narrow escape, and that motorcycle racing could not afford to lose such an exciting prospect. Turner then informs George that he represents the Sprocket Motorcycle Team, and enquires of George as to whether he would be willing to ride for them. George is still feeling nervous, and informs Turner that "he wouldn't ride again for fifty quid!" Turner sees this as an opportunity to settle the matter, and promptly pays George the fifty pounds.

Flushed with his newfound wealth, George sets about taking Florrie out and spoiling her. When Florrie begins enquiring as to how George has all of a sudden become so affluent, George remains furtive and tells her not to worry.

George is then spotted by Turner and Norton, who are incredulous that George should be out enjoying himself when he is supposed to be ill. Turner then convinces George that he should return to his lodgings, get his motorcycle and go and smash it up so as he is unable to race. George agrees to this, but instead of going back to his lodgings, he continues to spend the day with Florrie, all the while being followed by Turner and Norton.

After an exhaustive day, Florrie and George settle for a rest on the headland outside Douglas. Florrie remarks on the beauty of the Isle of Man, and George replies that if he had enough money, he'd buy it for her. Florrie states that he will have plenty once he has won the race, and that George is going to be famous. George replies that this will not happen, and mumbles to the effect that he is not going to race as his motorcycle is unfit for the task. Florrie and George stroll along the footpath on their way back to their lodgings. Upon seeing Turner and Norton - who are still following them - George becomes tetchy, and hastens his stride much to the annoyance of Florrie.

The following day, George takes the Shuttleworth Snap up to the Marine Drive, where he meets Turner and Norton. Norton convinces George that in case he is seen, he has to make the disposal of his motorcycle look like an accident. Norton suggests that George rides the motorcycle to the edge of the cliff and falls off just as the machine is about to go over the edge. George reluctantly agrees to this, and sets about destroying his motorcycle. As he approaches the cliff's edge, a rock climber appears and warns George of the dangers of riding too close to the edge. George turns away and returns to where Norton and Turner are stood. Norton and Turner then persuade George to have another attempt, and again he fails to carry out their wishes. On the third attempt, George rides the machine over the edge, and Turner and Norton hurry to the cliff's edge to observe the result. They look down to the bottom of the cliff and see a tangled mass of wreckage. Presuming George to be part of it, they conclude that the matter is resolved and go on their way. George however, has managed to get hold of a branch of a small tree situated on the cliff. He swings out and is carried back over the top of the cliff and lands upon Turner and Norton.

Turner, Norton and George then make their way back to their respective accommodation which are situated next door to each other. Upon entering the garden of his lodgings, Florrie rushes up to George and asks him to close his eyes as she has a surprise for him. On opening his eyes, George fixes his gaze ahead but is unable to see what the surprise is. Florrie then points to a brand new Rainbow motorcycle which has just arrived for George to ride. Florrie informs George that after his success in the race trial she has negotiated with the Raimbow Motorcycle Company that he should become one of their riders and her boss, Mr Higgins, had sent the motorcycle for George to compete on. George is overcome that events have transpired in this manner, and becomes faint.

Mrs Horrocks repairs inside to make George a cup of tea in order for him to regain his composure. In the adjacent garden, Tyldesley and some other riders are doing some exercises with a ball. Subsequently, the ball is accidentally thrown over the separating fence and strikes George. Tyldesley enters the garden so as he may retrieve the ball. On seeing the new motorcycle, Tyldesley enquires as to why it is there. Florrie informs Tyldesley that the motorcycle has been sent in order for George to compete on, and Tyldesley becomes irate at the situation.

The boss of the Rainbow Motorcycle Company, Mr Higgins, arrives and is eager to meet George after Florrie had told him about George's exploits during the trial. As Mr Higgins is introduced to George, Tyldesley intervenes and protests to Mr Higgins with regard to George being appointed as an official Rainbow rider. Mr Higgins informs Tyldesley that it is good for the company, however Tyldesley remains adamant that if George rides for the team, then he won't. Turner then approaches Tyldesley and offers him a ride for the rival Sprocket Motorcycle Company, and Tyldesley readily agrees to this.

Mr Higgins impresses upon George that the onus is now on him to compete well. However Turner intervenes, and states that George will not be riding. This causes a certain degree of confusion, and George is challenged by both Mr Horrocks and Florrie as to what is the situation. George remains furtive, but is again asked by Florrie to explain what Turner implied. As George continues to remain aloof, Grandpa Shuttleworth and George's mother arrive and join in the inquisition. In the ensuing confusion, George makes good his escape from the situation.

The day of the race arrives, and George is still missing. As the riders assemble with their machines at the TT Grandstand, the commentator begins to set the scene. As the broadcast commences, the commentator states that:- "No big race is without its last minute drama, and this is no exception. George Shuttleworth, who the public have made their idol after his exploits in the Trial, has vanished into thin air!"

In the pit area, Florrie is becoming anxious as to the whereabouts of George. Mr Higgins enquires as to the situation, and is dismissive of Florrie's explanation, stating that in his opinion, George had no intention to ride. Meanwhile, George's mother and Grandpa Shuttleworth are also worried, and are searching the pit area for George. As Florrie passes Tyldesley's pit, Tyldesley asks if she is looking for him. Florrie is dismissive of Tyldesley's arrogance, and states that in her opinion, a degree of skulduggery has taken place, to which Tyldesley readily agrees.

Tyldesley then informs Florrie that George has in fact taken a bribe from Turner of fifty pounds not to ride. Florrie is incredulous of Tyldesley's statement, but Tyldesley states that he is willing to take her to see George as one of their 'boys' had seen him up on Douglas Head. As Tyldesley and Florrie make their way from the pit area, Florrie informs George's mother and Grandpa Shuttleworth that George is in fact on Douglas Head, and Grandpa Shuttleworth resolves to repair to Douglas Head in order to get George back for the race.

He not only succeeds in winning the race, but the girl as well.


Statue of George Formby in Douglas, Isle of Man


  • Producer - Basil Dean
  • Director - Monty Banks
  • Writers - Tom Geraghty/Fred Thompson from a story by Walter Greenwood
  • Art Direction - J.Elder Willis
  • Sound - John W.Mitchell
  • Supervising Editor - Jack Kitchen
  • Music - Ord Hamilton and his Twentieth Century Band


  • "Riding in the TT Races". Performed by George Formby and written by Cliffe & Gifford
  • "Riding Around on a Rainbow". Performed by George Formby and Florence Desmond and written by Fred E. Cliffe
  • "In a Little Wigan Garden". Performed by George Formby and written by Cliffe & Gifford
  • "Your Way is My Way". Performed by George Formby and written by Harry Parr-Davis

Production notes[edit]

  • No Limit used the 1935 Isle of Man TT as the backdrop to the film production. Many outdoor scenes were used in the Isle of Man including Douglas Beach, White City, Douglas Head Road, the Palace Ballrooms and the Douglas Camera Obscura.[1]
  • Many stunts in the movie are by motor-cycle racers from the Isle of Man including brothers Bertie and Harold Rowell.[2] Members of the Peveril Motor Cycle Club also carried out some of the stunts, including Cyril Standen who crashed into the front-door of the Ballacraine Hotel and the crash into the river at Sulby.[3] Jack Cannell also featured as a stunt rider wearing bib number 15.


  1. ^ Isle of Man Weekly Times dated 25 May 1935
  2. ^ The Tourist Trophy in Old Photographs Collected by Bill Snelling. pp121 Sutton Publishing ISBN 1-84015-059-9
  3. ^ Centenary of the Borough of Douglas 1896-1996 Gordon N.Kniverton The Manx Experience pp109 ISBN 1-873120-21-4

External links[edit]