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Meet Mr. Lucifer (1953)

A television given as a retirement present is sold on to different households, causing misery each time.


Anthony Pelissier


Arnold Ridley (play), Monja Danischewsky (screenplay) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Holloway ... Mr. Hollingsworth / Mr. Lucifer
Peggy Cummins ... Kitty
Jack Watling ... Jim
Barbara Murray ... Patricia
Joseph Tomelty ... Mr. Pedelty
Humphrey Lestocq Humphrey Lestocq ... Arthur
Gordon Jackson ... Hector
Jean Cadell ... Mrs. Macdonald
Kay Kendall ... Lonely Hearts Singer
Charles Victor Charles Victor ... Mr. Elder
Olive Sloane ... Mrs. Stannard
Ernest Thesiger ... Mr. Macdonald
Olga Gwynne Olga Gwynne ... Principal Boy
Joan Sims ... Fairy Queen
Ian Carmichael ... Man Friday in pantomine


A television given as a retirement present is sold on to different households, causing misery each time.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Devil-May-Care Joker From Ealing Studios


Comedy | Fantasy


See all certifications »






Release Date:

26 November 1953 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Gaumont Kalee) (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A close-up of an envelope shows the address where most of the action takes place to be Shepherds Bush. This was the London suburb where the BBC had its television studios. See more »


The time of year is very confusing. Pantomimes run over Christmas and a poster states it will close early on January 7th but children are walking around collecting pennies with a guy for Guy Fawkes Night (November 5th) and the chemist shop is showing a sign saying closed until September 12th. See more »


Sam Hollingsworth: Looks like a broken marriage on the way...
Mr. Lucifer: Dear TV - so much more effective than the old-fashioned lodger.
See more »


Featured in Richard E. Grant on Ealing Comedies: Killer Jokes (2016) See more »


My Lonely Heart
Written by Eric Rogers
Performed by Kay Kendall (dubbed)
See more »

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User Reviews

Out of the television set
27 September 2016 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

It is easy to be view Ealing comedies as some kind of comedy gold if you just watch the best of their output.

However films like these give a more rounded view of Ealing Films a satirical misfire that misses its target by a mile.

Stanley Holloway plays a departed drunken actor who takes a knock and meets Lucifer (also Stanley Holloway) down below and he gets send back to earth to spread the marvels of the television set which in time only causes misery.

Television ownership took off with the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Rising television viewers also had an impact on cinema audiences and the theatre as well with variety taking a big hit.

We see old Mr Pedelty who is given a television set as a retirement present from his firm. He enjoys watching television and soon invites friends and neighbours round, throwing parties which soon gets out of hand and leaving him in debt for all the drinks and food he bought. Even the friendship he has made are shallow, people only wanted to know him because he had a TV set.

He sells the TV set it to a newly married couple, the Norton's in the upstairs flat and pretty soon they have the same problems especially as he needs to study for his pharmacy exams and gets no peace and quiet. As Lucifer remarks, that TV is 'so much more effective than the old fashioned lodger' in splitting up relationships.

Knowing the television set causes trouble he then gives it to his envious and petty former colleague, Hector at the pharmacy who becomes obsessed with the singer who performs a nightly show on television. The effect is to actually make him happier and better to go along with until her show gets cancelled.

The episodic film starts of wickedly enough but becomes mundane and tedious very quickly. After all it seems to be a film more afraid of new technology which was to become a rival. Ealing Films eventually sold its studio to the BBC.

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