Old Mother Riley, MP

Old Mother Riley, MP is a 1939 British comedy film starring Arthur Lucan and Kitty McShane, which forms part of the Old Mother Riley series of films. The film's plot centres on Old Mother Riley standing for election to the House of Commons.

Old Mother Riley, MP
Front of house still
Directed byOswald Mitchell
Produced byF.W. Baker
Written byOswald Mitchell
Con West
StarringArthur Lucan
Kitty McShane
Torin Thatcher
Henry B. Longhurst
Music byPercival Mackey
CinematographyGeoffrey Faithfull
Edited byDaniel Birt
Distributed byButcher's Film Service
Release date
15 August 1939 (London)(UK)
20 January 1940 (UK general release)
Running time
77 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Plot summary

Concerning Old Mother Riley's fight against her landlord, and as a means of defeating a corrupt politician intent on demolishing her street and the local pub along with it, Mother Riley taking to the soapbox. Local crowds cheer her on, and she finds herself elected to Parliament, and eventually promoted to Cabinet Minister for Strange Affairs.[1][2][3]


Critical reception

  • Mary Haberstroh writes in Britmovie, "“Old Mother Riley, MP” synthesizes slapstick comedy with malapropisms and everything in between to create one of the best Old Mother Riley films...Lucan is credible as Old Mother Riley wanting to seek social equality for the poor and unemployed, and Kitty McShane, Torin Thatcher, and Henry B. Longhurst turn in stellar performances in this comedy. The story itself is well written and continuous without any unexplained gaps in the plot, making it easy for the viewer to follow...The characters in the film could very well be real life figures who are trying to survive during the time of the Great Depression. “Old Mother Riley, MP” is a film that is sure to please anyone who appreciates classic British comedy."[3]
  • In britishpictures.com, David Absalom writes, "by any reasonable definition, this is not a good film. But the character (Old Mother Riley) is so watchable, so wonderfully manic, you enjoy the film despite its faults."[4]
  • TV Guide wrote, "graced with an insane plot...Nonsensical but full of laughs."[5]


  1. Nield, Anthony (1 January 2006). "Old Mother Riley in Paris / Old Mother Riley M.P. | DVD Video Review | Film @ The Digital Fix". Film.thedigitalfix.com. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  2. "Old Mother Riley M.P. | BFI | BFI". Explore.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  3. "Old Mother Riley, MP (1939)". Britmovie.co.uk. 7 June 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  4. "ARCHIVE Ol - Once: British films of the 30s, 40s and 50s". Britishpictures.com. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  5. TNT New. "Old Mother Riley Mp Review". Movies.tvguide.com. Retrieved 24 February 2014.

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