Old Mother Riley Detective

Old Mother Riley Detective is a 1943 British comedy film directed by Lance Comfort and starring Arthur Lucan, Kitty McShane and Hal Gordon.[1] It was part of the long running Old Mother Riley series. Old Mother Riley investigates the disappearance of food during the war, a serious crime because of rationing.

Old Mother Riley Detective
Original trade poster
Directed byLance Comfort
Produced byJohn Baxter
Written byBarbara K. Emary
Arthur Lucan
Austin Melford
Geoffrey Orme
StarringArthur Lucan
Kitty McShane
Hal Gordon
Music byKennedy Russell
CinematographyJames Wilson
Edited byE.W. White
Distributed byAnglo-American Film Corporation
Release date
31 May 1943 (UK)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


The film opens with a night watchman being bludgeoned, as a safe is cracked open in the offices of the District Food Controller. A list of wartime foods to be rationed is stolen, and the police fear gangsters are planning to sell the foods on the black market. As the office charwoman, Old Mother Riley's fingerprints are all over the safe, and she becomes the police's number one suspect. To prove her innocence, Mother Riley turns detective, adopting various methods and disguises to track down the villains.[2][3]


Critical reception

TV Guide wrote of the film, "a lifeless effort...The gangster premise is merely an excuse for Lucan to try out some humorous bits (in drag, of course), but the picture is too padded to hold much interest."[4] Kinematograph Weekly noted, "one of Arthur Lucan's and the series' best efforts."[5]


  1. Old Mother Riley, Detective
  2. "Old Mother Riley, Detective | BFI | BFI". Explore.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  3. "Old Mother Riley-Detective (1943) | Vintage45's Blog". Vintage45.wordpress.com. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  4. "Old Mother Riley, Detective Review". Movies.tvguide.com. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  5. "Lance Comfort - Brian McFarlane - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 22 February 2014.

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