Up, Jenkins

1933 , Hadley Wood (Greater London)

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An amateur comedy drama about a young Englishman pursued by Russian spies and the kidnapping of his girlfriend.

A young cricket player is introduced as “Charles Augustus Fortescue – so dumb, he thought co-ed meant assistant editor”. He directs the other (invisible) players and bowls a wicket. This reveals him as a daydreamer and throughout the film he frequently waves his arms in a comical state of annoyance. A small terrier sitting in a garden is introduced as Jenkins, a guardian angel in telepathic sympathy with Charles, warning him of danger by yawning “loudly”. Reading The Times newspaper as he walks along the road, Charles is alerted to a passing car by Jenkins’ yawn. A second car halts to avoid him as he waves his arms in rage. Jenkins yawns again as the car driver threatens Charles with the starting handle. The scene shifts to Moscow 1933 with angled shots of gutter and pavement. In the super spy’s cellar, two spies (one is a small boy) in bowler hats and false beard and moustache sit at a table in front of a box marked “paraffin”. The larger instructs the smaller “Brother Ime Orlovanitch” to set off for England to “get the dope” on Charles Augustus Fortescue. Ime sets off holding a parcel marked “dope”. The date on the calendar shows Thursday 1 June, then Friday 30 June. Charles and a lady are sitting on a golf course. He waves his arms in frantic annoyance, then pulls together a few dozen golf balls which spell out the word DUD. A girl appears who is introduced as May Mallory. She asks Charles “What do you think you are?” and he replies “75 for 9 declared” and they walk off together. Ime, the small spy, appears in the bushes, with his parcel of dope. The lady spots him and runs away. Ime then eavesdrops on Charles and May. Jenkins yawns to warn Charles, who is threatened by the spy and calls “Up, Jenkins”, then congratulates the dog on chasing the spy away. May, who was looking the other way, is convinced there was nobody else there. A man and woman sit on a garden bench stroking a cat and dog. Charles and May arrive with Jenkins who swaps places with the other dog, which jumps up at May but then walks off quietly with her. Sitting by a lake, Charles sends Jenkins to fetch May. He hires a boat, but there is already a lady sitting in it. Charles loses his balance taking his seat, loses an oar then ends up in the lady’s arms just as May arrives. Charles wades through the water while explaining to May, who forgives him. Reel 2 opens with summer garden flowers and insects. The planting out of a potted plant is interrupted by Jenkins and a small boy with a ball. In superimposed shots, Charles dreams that he is mowing the lawn energetically, then the lawnmower carries on without him, and the garden furniture moves about. Repeatedly hit on the head with the ball, Charles wakes up and sets about mowing the lawn, then emptying a wicker basket of grass cuttings over a fence where Ime the small spy has been hiding. Wearing a different costume, Ime approaches Wood House and rings the doorbell. Inside (but on an outdoor set) Charles is listening to a gramophone and a musical box and pours a drink from a carafe. A maid announces the visitor “Ime Orlovanitch” and Charles recommends that she try Keating’s - in response she breaks a gramophone record in two. Charles offers a drink to his guest. Ime distracts Charles while adding arsenic poison from a sachet to his drink and swapping the glasses. Jenkins yawns to alert Charles who distracts Ime, and swaps the glasses back. Following a toast, Charles attempts to drink but appears to swoon. Ime appears lifeless but a boy arrives with a message from the pharmacist that he supplied borax by mistake for arsenic. As Ime responds that he had inadvertently dropped a little in Charles’s drink, the boy sets off down the road at speed. Ime leaves and drives off in a car with numberplate UR5164. The man and woman are having tea on the garden bench, attended by Jenkins who begs for a saucer and laps it up. Charles arrives and joins them on the bench. The maid announces that the car has been stolen. Charles seems unable to express what is happening, as usual, and rushes off. A telegram boy in uniform cycles past Wood House and Charles opens the gate to receive a telegram warning that May is missing and might have been kidnapped. Charles takes the telegram boy’s bicycle and sets off at speed. In the moving car, May sits next to the spy who is driving fast. Two boys with bicycles are sitting on the grass verge car spotting. Charles stops and their notebook confirms that UR5164 passed by heading for Blind Alley. In an exciting scene, Charles jumps on the running board of the fast moving car and climbs inside, then brings the car to a halt. The spy is dumped in the bushes, still with his dope, then Charles rescues the swooning May. They sit on the verge where he embraces and kisses her as Jenkins has the last yawn.

Featured Buildings

Wood House, Hadley Green

Keywords

Comedy; Trick effects; Spies; Kidnapping; Chase; Romance

Intertitles

“Charles Augustus Fortescue – so dumb, he thought co-ed meant assistant editor” “Jenkins – a telepathic sympathy existed between him and Charles Augustus Fortescue” “When Charles Augustus Fortescue was in danger, Jenkins yawned - LOUDLY” “Moscow 1933” “Brother Ime, go to England, and get the dope on Charles Augustus Fortescue” “Ime Orlovanitch – so dumb, he thought Metropolitan Vickers meant London clergy” “OK Chief – I’ll get the dope on this Fortescue guy” “In England Charles Augustus Fortescue never even thought of Russian spies” “May Mallory made most men mutts …” “What do you think you are?” “75 for 9 declared” “Up, Jenkins” “I’m sure there was no one there, Charles” “May’s attractive … she makes most men mutts” “Yeah? - Well she’s made Charles nuts!” “Go and fetch May, Jenkins… I’ll take her on the lake” “Heavily disguised, Ime Orlovanitch tried again …” Excuse me sir … the chemist just sold you borax by mistake” “How fortunate: I inadvertently dropped a little in this man’s drink” “Must you be going?” “The car’s been took” Telegram to Charles Augustus Fortescue, Wood House, Hadley Common. May missing – fear kidnapped - Mallory “Has UR5164 passed here?” “It went that way … down the Blind Alley …” “Blind Alley” “The End”

Background Information

"Up Jenkins" is a game in which a coin is concealed and other players guess which hand is hiding the coin. Keating's Powder was a nineteenth century remedy for bugs and fleas. Borax is used in household laundry and cleaning products. The titles throughout the 9.5mm film are "notched" - the cut-out notch to the right of the frame activated a device in the projector which would hold the frame still for a few seconds (saving film stock and reducing length of reel).

Manifestations

Up, Jenkins

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