I've just finished reading Juliet Gardiner's magnificent book "The Thirties - an intimate history". This is a must- read for anyone even vaguely interested in 20th century social history and Juliet is now the official History Usherette Historian Heroine.
It was while I was reading this book that I was reminded of my teenage obsession with George Formby films. Back then I found them a beguiling mixture of simple laugh-out-loud humour and a tantalising glimpse of the 1930's. But after reading Juliet's book I realised that I was actually appreciating an early form of cutting edge satire. His film "Keep Fit" was more than just an opportunity to see George in shorts, it was a shot at the fanatical craze which swept through certain parts of British society at the time. Now that I have a fuller understanding of the thinking behind this film, I think I can see it in others. My favourite George Formby film is "No Limit", where George takes on the mighty TT Races and triumphs. Now that I know how much the 1930's were about speed and streamlining, I understand how George was having a laugh at the expense of the rich men obsessed by building things that went faster than ever before. Even the title now suggests to me that there was "no limit" to the idiocy of the some of their schemes.
Time to revisit some of George's films to see what else made the 1930s tick.