Charley's Aunt (1941 film)

Charley's Aunt is a 1941 American historical comedy film directed by Archie Mayo. It stars Jack Benny and Kay Francis. It was the third filmed version of the stage farce of the same name by Brandon Thomas. It remained one of Benny's personal favourites among his own films.[2][3][4]

Charley's Aunt
Directed byArchie Mayo
Produced byWilliam Perlberg
Written byGeorge Seaton
Brandon Thomas (original play)
StarringJack Benny
Kay Francis
James Ellison
Music byAlfred Newman
CinematographyJ. Peverell Marley
Edited byRobert Bischoff
Distributed byTwentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Release date
August 1, 1941 (US)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,278,200[1]


In 1890, two students at Oxford force their rascally friend and fellow student to pose as an aunt from Brazil--where the nuts come from.



Box Office

The film was the 8th most popular movie at the US box office in 1941.[5]

It earned a profit of $772,800.[1]


  • In a review contemporary with the film's original release, a critic in The New York Times wrote "when the Benny physiognomy peered impishly from behind a lacy fan, the audience held its sides, and when in the final scene his wig vanished to leave his masculine coiffure stark naked, there was a roar of laughter that must have shaken the Roxy's rococo ceiling".[6]
  • According to TV Guide, "Jack Benny was never better (with the possible exception of his classic To Be or Not to Be) and carries the film with a top-flight performance. This was his first role of any consequence other than his previous tailor-made parts with radio jokes flying thick and fast around his well-known persona." [3]

The film was promoted on The Jell-o Program, the name for Benny's radio show at the time. The plot of the 18 May 1941 episode sees the cast visit Jack "on-set". One gag sees Benny's contract require him to feed Darryl F. Zanuck's horse.


  1. Mank, Gregory William (2018). Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy. McFarland.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2011-05-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Charley's Aunt Review". Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  4. "Charley's Aunt (1941) – Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  5. Film Money-Makers Selected by Variety: ' Sergeant York' Top Picture, Gary Cooper Leading Star New York Times (1923 – Current file) [New York, N.Y] 31 Dec 1941: 21.
  6. T.S. (1941-08-02). "Movie Review – Charley s Aunt – Jack Benny, in Shawl and Crinoline, Trips Through the Revival of 'Charley's Aunt' at the Roxy". Retrieved 2014-04-08.
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