The Viper (film)

The Viper is a 1938 British slapstick comedy film directed by Roy William Neill and starring Claude Hulbert and Hal Walters. The film was a sequel to the previous year's very successful The Vulture, with Hulbert and Walters reprising their roles as hapless private detective Cedric Gull and his sidekick Stiffy respectively. Lesley Brook also features in both films, but in unrelated roles. Directorial duties passed to Neill as Ralph Ince, the director of The Vulture, had been killed in a road accident shortly after the film's release.

The Viper
Directed byRoy William Neill
Produced byIrving Asher
Written byJohn Dighton
Reginald Purdell
StarringClaude Hulbert
Hal Walters
CinematographyBasil Emmott
Distributed byWarner Brothers-First National Productions
Release date
1 March 1938
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom



The Viper fared significantly less well than The Vulture both critically and commercially. The film was not the box-office success its predecessor had been, and it was suggested that cinemagoers were beginning to tire of Hulbert's disguises and slapstick routines. Reviews were almost entirely negative in tone. Kine Weekly observed that the film held little appeal other than to Hulbert's die-hard fans and that "considerable expense has apparently gone in the production of gadgets and stunts for this picture which would have been better devoted to a more humorous story and funnier dialogue". The Monthly Film Bulletin found the film "absurd and confusing...the slapstick episodes are embarrassing".

No print of The Viper is known to survive, and the film is included on the British Film Institute's "75 Most Wanted" list of missing British feature films.[1]


  1. "The Viper/BFI Most Wanted". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 September 2010.

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