Mr Drake's Duck

Tagged: Film

Film (1951). Douglas Fairbanks Productions. Eros Films (UK), United Artists (US). Produced by Daniel M Angel. Directed by Val Guest. Written by Guest and Ian Messiter based on a radioplay by Messiter. Cast includes Yolande Donlan, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Jon Pertwee. 85 minutes UK; 75 minutes US. Black and white.

American Donald Drake (Fairbanks) and his wife Penny (Donlan) arrive at Green Acres Farm, Sussex, which Drake has inherited from an English relation. Penny and farm handyman Reuben (Pertwee) attend an auction where Penny accidentally purchases sixty ducks, one of which happens to lay lead-shelled uranium eggs. The UK military closes off the farm in an effort to find the duck responsible, causing considerable chaos during the search.

This atomic-age updating of the fairytale about the goose that laid the golden eggs is mildly amusing at best. It was one of Fairbanks's last feature films; thereafter he worked mostly in Television. Future Doctor Who star Pertwee is enjoyable as the crusty handyman. Drake's name is of course is an in-joke, a gender-corrected Donald Duck. [GFi]

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