January 2, 2017


Claude Hulbert (1900-1964) b. London, England.

Claude Hulbert

Less of a leading light than his brother Jack Hulbert, Claude starred in several minor comedies for the British cinema of the 1930s. But it was as a radio broadcaster, often in partnership with his wife, actress Enid Trevor (they married in 1924) that he was at his most relaxed. Educated at Cambridge, Claude became a leading member of the Footlights Revue. Claude found himself grabbed by the cinema for most of the 1930s.

He began by supporting the Aldwych farceurs before being handed his first lead in a weak B-film with Renee Houston and Binnie Barnes, Their Night Out. His most successful solo film of the mid 1930s being Hello Sweetheart, like most of Hulbert’s starring comedies, however, its ambition was strictly small-scale; it seemed that British studios simply didn’t see him as a major star. Things picked up a bit in 1936 with Wolf’s Clothing, which starred him as a dithering diplomat, and Honeymoon-Merry-Go-Round, where he played a bumbling bridegroom who unintentionally becomes an ice-hockey star.

He became a very capable partner for Will Hay after that comedian decided he wanted to do without his famous ‘stooges’, Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt. Hay’s two films with Hulbert, The Ghost of St Michael’s (1941) and My Learned Friend (1943), were the most successful of his later vehicles. Claude’s film appearances, though, became scarcer as the 1940s wore on. Claude Hulbert‘s films, however, were, at best, modest and moderate, sadly lacking in budget, ambition and spark.

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